Ozuna homers twice, Marlins avoid sweep, beat Brewers 10-3
MILWAUKEE — No matter the bat, Marcell Ozuna feels right at home at the plate.
Ozuna hit two home runs — the second moments after having his bat thrown out for having too much pine tar on it — and the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 on Sunday.
“He could probably pick up a two-by-four and hit with it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
The sticky situation began in the seventh, when Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar had his bat tossed from the game for the same issue by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
“The umpire, he said, ‘You’ve got a lot of pine tar,'” Villar said. “I tell him, ‘Why? I see Ozuna and a couple guys hit it like that.'”
Mattingly said he didn’t complain about Villar’s at-bat as highlights from the 1983 game featuring George Brett at Yankee Stadium played in the visiting manager’s clubhouse.
“I don’t worry about a guy who’s got pine tar. I’ve been involved with a pine tar game before,” Mattingly said. “I know that’s not really going to help him hit.”
Wendelstedt also checked Ozuna’s bat to start the eighth and told him to get a new one. The bat boy handed him Giancarlo Stanton’s model, and Ozuna deposited his 22nd homer of the season — a 455-foot drive — into the bleachers in left.
“Maybe I swung harder,” said Ozuna, who took responsibility for the extra pine tar on his bat. “It’s a rule.”
It appears to be the park, more than the bat, as a reason for Ozuna’s success. The big center fielder has nine home runs in 16 career games at Miller Park.
Miami snapped its four-game losing streak thanks to a 17-hit attack, including four by Christian Yelich. Ozuna’s first homer, a three-run shot, put Miami ahead for good in the third inning, setting the stage for the banished bats.
“Just have fun, enjoy the game, that’s most important for me right now,'” Ozuna said.
Derek Dietrich also homered for Miami.
Marlins starter Dan Straily (6-4) allowed solo home runs to Eric Thames and Orlando Arcia.
While Thames and Arcia pushed Milwaukee’s National League-best total to 127 home runs this year, the rest of the Brewers failed to do much else against Straily.
Straily allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out four. The right-hander is 4-0 in six career appearances against the Brewers.
Brewers starter Junior Guerra (1-3) took the loss.
It was another tough start for the right-hander, who struggled early in the outing and has seen his velocity dip significantly in 2017.
Guerra’s final fastball was an 88 mph offering that Justin Bour ripped for an RBI double in the fifth. Guerra finished with seven strikeouts, but allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks. He didn’t record an out in the fifth.
“I feel like right now my velocity is off,” Guerra said. “I’ve always had good velocity and just go after hitters. I haven’t been able to do that and been relying on my off-speed a lot more.”
IT’S A GIRL
Brewers closer Corey Knebel and his wife, Danielle, had an eventful Sunday morning during ‘Family Day’ activities pregame. The couple decided to learn the sex of their first child due Nov. 23, with Danielle throwing a powder-filled ‘baseball’ for Knebel to hit.
When Knebel made contact, it exploded and pink chalk wafted through left field. Knebel has at least one strikeout in each of his 40 appearances this season, setting the MLB single-season record for most consecutive games with a strikeout in Friday night’s win.
Marlins: 2B Dee Gordon received the day off. Gordon fouled a ball off his right foot in the fifth in Saturday’s loss and appeared in significant pain, but stayed in the game.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta left Sunday to begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Marlins: LHP Jeff Locke (0-4, 5.52 ERA) looks for his first win this year in his seventh start as Miami heads to St. Louis for a four-game set.
Brewers: The Brewers open a three-game series with Baltimore. They’ll send Brent Suter (0-1, 4.20 ERA) to the mound.