DENVER (AP) — A more selective approach at the plate is paying off for Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna hit a grand slam for his third homer in as many games, Giancarlo Stanton had three hits and three RBI, and the Miami Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies 13-5 on Friday night.
"He looks relaxed up there," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He laid off a couple of pitches where maybe last week he might have swung at them."
"And that’s the key for him like it is for all of our young players: stay within themselves, get good pitches to hit. This guy has a ton of power. He can do a lot of damage and he’s swinging at strikes," he said.
Ozuna, whose 19th homer and second career slam came off reliever Juan Nicasio during the Marlins’ six-run ninth, said that he’s focusing on getting good pitches to hit and refraining from overswinging.
"I’m feeling good at the plate," he said. "I’m swinging easier. I’m helping the team right now."
Henderson Alvarez (10-5) withstood a pair of homers over six innings to win his fourth consecutive decision. He was making his second start since successfully returning last week from a stint on the disabled list because of a right shoulder inflammation.
Alvarez struck out five, walked none and gave up 10 hits, including two-run homers by Justin Morneau and Corey Dickerson but fought back to keep the Rockies’ lineup largely in check.
"Henderson did a good job," Redmond said. "I wouldn’t say he had his best stuff. He made some mistakes, kind of up in the zone but that happens here."
The Marlins helped Alvarez get through the rough spots by staking him to a 4-0 lead.
After Morneau connected for his 14th homer of the season, the Marlins capitalized on some wayward pitching by the Rockies, who overall issued nine walks and hit a batter with a pitch.
Franklin Morales (5-7) gave up a single to Christian Yelich and double to Jeff Baker to start the fifth before walking Stanton intentionally to load the bases. McGehee then drove in a run by drawing a walk off Morales, who was relieved by Brooks Brown. After getting a forceout at the plate, Brown walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to force in another run and Miami pulled in front 6-2.
"It’s tough," Morales said. "I tried to make my pitch and tried to get groundballs. Sometimes I missed my pitch and left the ball up."
Dickerson cut the deficit to 6-4 in the fifth, following Nolan Arenado’s two-out single with his 18th home run.
Miami added another run in the seventh on an RBI double by Donovan Solano.
Marlins: RHP Carter Capps, on the disabled list since late May with right elbow sprain, was scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. The Marlins are hoping he’ll be ready for reinstatement in early September.
Rockies: OF-INF Michael Cuddyer missed a third consecutive game because of a sore left hamstring. Cuddyer came off the disabled list last weekend after missing 2 1/2 months with a fractured left shoulder. He played in a doubleheader and hit for the cycle Sunday in his first day back but later felt soreness in the hamstring the next day and he remains day to day.
Miami RHP Tom Koehler (9-9, 3.82 ERA) is slated to pitch Saturday night against Colorado RHP Jordan Lyles (6-1, 4.01 ERA) in the second of the three game series between the teams.
Marlins: Alvarez has gone at least six innings in 17 starts this season and he’s 10-0 with a 1.95 ERA in those outings. The 10th win also represented a career high for Alvarez.
Rockies: Arenado finished with four hits for the second time in five games. He also had three hits against Kansas City on Tuesday and he’s hitting .447 in his last 10 games. "He’s on a roll right now," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.