Ozuna Homer In 9th Gives Marlins 2-1 Win
PHOENIX (AP) The Miami Marlins had no offense, except for one big swing.
And that was enough to spoil a brilliant Arizona debut by Vidal Nuno.
Marcell Ozuna hit a two-out, two-run home run off Addison Reed in the ninth inning to give the Marlins a 2-1 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
“He got a good pitch to hit and didn’t miss it,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said. “In this ballpark you can do some damage on one swing.”
Ozuna hit Reed’s 2-2 pitch off the batter’s eye far above the 407-foot sign in straightaway center. It was the fifth blown save in 25 tries for Reed (1-5) and the ninth home run the closer has allowed in 38 appearances. Reed has blown three of his last 13 save opportunities.
“You could see he missed his spot by about 18 inches,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “He set up down and away. I think he threw 21 pitches and he threw two off-speed pitches. He’s got to mix his pitches in. Ozuna’s a very good fastball hitter.”
According to Ozuna, Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hachevarria told teammates in the dugout that the home run was coming, right after the second strike.
“He told (Henderson) Alvarez and (Donovan) Solano I was going to hit a home run right now,” Ozuna said. “And then the home run come. I don’t know why.”
Nuno, acquired in the deal that sent Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees on Sunday, gave up three hits, struck out a career-high seven and walked one in seven innings. He scored Arizona’s only run.
“This is the big leagues so one pitch can ruin a game,” Nuno said. “I just kept my focus and kept on driving and I made those pitches.”
Mike Dunn (7-4) pitched one-third of an inning to get the victory. Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 22 opportunities.
Miami’s Brad Hand allowed an unearned run and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings but failed to win as a starter for the 14th consecutive time, the third-longest active streak in the majors.
Hand’s last victory as a starter came almost three years ago to the day, on July 7, 2011, against Houston.
After Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless eighth, Reed came on and walked Ed Lucas to start the ninth. Giancarlo Stanton struck out and Casey McGehee lined out to center to bring up Ozuna for his game-winning heroics.
“Ozuna’s a very good fastball hitter,” Gibson said. “He was trying to get the ball down and away and it was basically middle third in, and he got it all.”
Reed left without talking to reporters.
The game ended when Paul Goldschmidt, the NL’s starting first baseman in the All-Star game, flied out to deep right.
The Diamondbacks were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
“We score one run in one inning,” Gibson said, “so that makes everything else look magnified.”
The only Miami player to reach second against Nuno was Ozuna when he doubled with two outs in the fourth.
Nuno reached when McGehee muffed a grounder, the third baseman’s second error and one of four by Miami. Ender Inciarti’s bunt single past the mound put runners at first and second with no outs. Aaron Hill followed with an RBI single. Goldschmidt grounded into a double play and, after Martin Prado walked, Cody Ross grounded out to strand the runner at third.
The Diamondbacks stranded runners at second and third in the first, second and sixth innings.
In the second, Nuno – not accustomed to batting because he’s been in the AL – laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. But Inciarti grounded sharply to short to end the threat.
Another nice sacrifice bunt by Nuno moved runners to second and third with two outs in the sixth.
NOTES: Goldschmidt hit his major league-leading 34th double. … Arizona OF Mark Trumbo, who hit a grand slam in his rehab appearance with Triple-A Reno on Monday night, is expected to join the Diamondbacks after the All-Star break. He’s been out since April 22 with a left foot stress fracture. … In the series finale on Wednesday, the Marlins send Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.75 ERA) to the mound against the Diamondbacks’ Josh Collmenter (7-5, 3.98).
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