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Marlins Feeling Confident As Hot Bats Carry Team Towards .500

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsXchange) – The Miami Marlins may be defying the odds and turning their season around.

Manager Don Mattingly said he used to worry when opponents took the lead on his Marlins.

Not anymore.

Left fielder Marcell Ozuna homered for the second consecutive game and drove in three runs, leading Miami to an 11-6 win over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Ozuna, who went 2-for-5 and is hitting .333 this season with 17 homers and 47 RBIs, helped Miami overcome an early 4-0 deficit.

“He’s been unreal,” Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich said of Ozuna, who leads the team in batting average and RBIs and is tied with Giancarlo Stanton for the lead in homers. “He’s one of the best players in baseball right now.

“Everything he hits seems to be extremely hard.”

Yelich and Dee Gordon also contributed on Wednesday as each had two RBIs to lead the Marlins (29-35) to a sweep of the two-game series.

Oakland (27-38) is 9-25 on the road this season. The A’s have lost nine straight series away from home, their worst road stretch since they did the same thing in 1986.

Daniel Gossett (0-1), who made his major league debut, lasted just 3 1/3 innings and took the loss. He allowed seven runs (six earned), six hits and one walk. On the positive side, he went 1-for-1 and had a sacrifice bunt as a hitter, scoring a run.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said he thought Gossett “was on his way” after a 1-2-3 opening inning.

“The first inning, he threw the ball really well, around the corners, sharp breaking balls,” Melvin said. “Then he threw some balls in the middle of the plate.”

Melvin was asked if Gossett would stick around for another start or get sent back down to Triple-A Nashville.

“I don’t answer those questions right after the game,” Melvin said. “We have some injuries anyway. We brought him up for a reason.”

Meanwhile, Miami’s Edinson Volquez, who went 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA in his past three starts, lasted just four innings and escaped with a no-decision. He allowed five runs (four earned), four hits and four walks.

Oakland’s first run was unearned. Jed Lowrie drew a first-inning walk and advanced on a costly fielding error by Marlins third baseman Derek Dietrich. Had Dietrich made the play, the inning would’ve been over. Instead, Volquez walked the next two batters, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.

The A’s made it 4-0 in the second with three more two-out RBIs. Ryon Healy’s 15th homer of the season, a three-run shot, was preceded by a two-out walk to Lowrie.

Miami closed its deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the second on solo homers by Ozuna and Tyler Moore. And the Marlins tied the score 4-4 in the third, getting an RBI single by Yelich and a run-scoring groundout by Ozuna.

Gossett, whose infield single led off the fourth inning, scored on Lowrie’s double, putting Oakland on top 5-4.

“I had no idea,” Gossett said when asked how he got his hit. “It looked like (the pitch) was 100 mph. Sometimes you can close your eyes and swing, and sometimes it works.”

Miami, though, took a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the third. A fielding error by Healy at third base opened the gates, and the Marlins took advantage, getting an RBI double by pinch hitter Tomas Telis, an RBI single by Gordon and an RBI hit-by-pitch by Yelich.

The Marlins added two more runs in the fifth, and the rout was on — just as Ozuna had predicted when he reassured Volquez after Miami fell behind 4-0.

“I told him, ‘We’re going to score for you’,” Ozuna said. “Always be positive.”

NOTES: A’s RF Matt Joyce (laceration on his chin) left the game in the third inning after colliding with 1B Yonder Alonso. Joyce took three stitches, but “should be OK”, A’s manager Bob Melvin said. … Marlins 1B Justin Bour (bruised left ankle) is expected to return Friday at the Atlanta Braves. … Marlins 3B Martin Prado (right hamstring) is set to start a rehab assignment on Thursday. … Oakland optioned OF/1B Matt Olson to Triple-A Nashville. … Oakland RHP Daniel Gossett got a called strike on his first major league pitch on Wednesday. On his second pitch, he retired 2B Dee Gordon on a groundout. … Oakland starts a four-game series at the New York Yankees on Thursday. Oakland will start RHP Sonny Gray, who has a 5.96 road ERA this season. … Miami starts a three-game series at the Atlanta Braves on Friday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.)

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