Fish Bytes

All-Star Ozuna’s homers help Marlins snap skid

Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna, right, gets a hand slap after hitting a three-run home run off of Milwaukee Brewers' Junior Guerra during the third inning of a baseball game Sun., July 2, 2017, in Milwaukee.
Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna, right, gets a hand slap after hitting a three-run home run off of Milwaukee Brewers' Junior Guerra during the third inning of a baseball game Sun., July 2, 2017, in Milwaukee. AP

The Brewers beefed that Marcell Ozuna had an illegal amount of pine tar on his bat.

So Ozuna calmly gave it back to the bat boy without a fuss, returned to the plate with a bat belonging to Giancarlo Stanton and used it to crush a baseball 455 feet for a home run in the eighth inning.

“It doesn’t matter what [bat] he’s using right now,” Stanton said of Ozuna, who belted two home runs on Sunday — one with his own bat and one with Stanton’s — in the Marlins’ 10-3 victory over the Brewers.

The first home run hit the batter’s eye in center. The second was hit so deep and with such might that Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun never flinched or turned his head to see where it landed.

It’s not the first time Ozuna has used someone else’s bat to hit a home run. Last season, he borrowed one belonging to former hitting coach Barry Bonds to hit one out. This season, he hit two homers using one of Ichiro Suzuki’s.

On Sunday, he intended to use only his bat.

But Ozuna’s plans changed in one of those tit-for-tat moments that left egg on the Brewers’ faces. One inning after home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt — acting alone — judged that Jonathan Villar’s bat had too much pine tar and made him exchange it for another, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell protested that Ozuna’s bat contained too much sticky stuff as well.

“They say I can’t use it, there’s a lot of pine tar on the bat,” Ozuna said. “It can only be 18 inches. They [put] it on home plate and measured it.”

That’s when the bat boy brought out one of Stanton’s bats for Ozuna to use, and use it he did, crushing a tape-measure homer off Paolo Espino in the eighth.

Marcell Ozuna will start in the July 11 All-Star Game at Marlins Park while Giancarlo Stanton was selected to the team as a reserve.

Ozuna said he wasn’t angry.

“No, that’s the rule,” he said. “I can’t go against the rule.”

Ozuna also tagged a three-run shot in the third inning. The two homers gave him a team-high 22 for the season, along with 59 RBI.

Dan Straily was the only member of the Marlins’ lineup without a hit on Sunday. But he delivered with his arm, maintaining his status as the Marlins’ most effective starter by improving his record to 6-4. Straily has won five of his past six decisions and remained perfect against Milwaukee, improving to 4-0 in five career starts versus the Brewers.

Straily went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, including home runs by Eric Thames and Orlando Arcia.

But the Marlins gave him more than enough run support.

They collected 17 hits, including four by Christian Yelich and three each by Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto. Derek Dietrich also homered for the Marlins, who stranded a season-high 15 runners.

The win ended the Marlins’ four-game losing streak and prevented the Brewers from sweeping the three-game series.

COMING UP

▪ Monday: Marlins LHP Jeff Locke (0-4, 5.52 ERA) at St. Louis Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (8-5, 5.17), 7:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.

▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (6-3, 3.42) at Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (6-5, 3.90), 2:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.

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