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From Bonds to Ichiro, borrowed bats work wonders for Marcell Ozuna

The Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna (13) celebrates his second-inning home run with teammate Justin Bour. Ozuna used a bat he borrowed from Ichiro Suzuki.
The Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna (13) celebrates his second-inning home run with teammate Justin Bour. Ozuna used a bat he borrowed from Ichiro Suzuki. TNS

Marcell Ozuna doesn’t seem to be too picky about his bats.

A season ago, he borrowed one belonging to former Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds and went on a tear at the plate. On Tuesday, he decided to try the same trick with a bat belonging to another baseball great, Ichiro Suzuki.

It worked again.

Ozuna, using one of Suzuki’s bats, went 3 for 5 with a home run in the Marlins’ 7-2 victory over Philadelphia.

“For me, it was pretty good,” Ozuna said of the bat.

Ozuna said he approached Suzuki after batting practice to ask if he could use one of his bats. The Japanese star was confused initially, thinking Ozuna wanted one as a keepsake.

“After practice I go up to him and tell him, ‘Can I get one of your bats,’” Ozuna recalled. “’(Suzuki replied) for what? For signing?’ (I said) no, for using in the game tonight. He said ‘No way! You’re kidding me?’”

Ozuna wasn’t kidding.

“He said ‘You have to use it in practice first,’” Ozuna said. “I said ‘What do you mean practice? I’m going to use it in the game.’”

It didn’t take long for Suzuki’s bat to deliver. In his first at bat, Ozuna hit a second-inning homer off Phillies starter Vince Velasquez. He added two more singles using it.

After the home run, Ozuna said he found Ichiro in the clubhouse.

“He said ‘Wow!,’” Ozuna said. “He was very happy.”

Ozuna said he wasn’t sure if he would continue using Suzuki’s bat, which is smaller and lighter than the ones Ozuna normally swings.

“Maybe tomorrow,” Ozuna said. “Never know. Let’s see what happens.”

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