MIAMI (AP) — A gray cat went scrambling for cover in the Marlins Park outfield midway through Tuesday night’s game, and no wonder, given the barrage off Marcell Ozuna’s bat.
Ozuna homered twice and had a career-high six RBIs to help Miami win its home opener against the Atlanta Braves, 8-4.
Announced attendance was 36,519, and that didn’t include a cat that ran onto the field midway through the game. It scurried along the outfield warning track, ran away from right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, crawled up the center field wall and then appeared to get stuck in the animatronic home run sculpture.
Marlins president David Samson said if Ozuna had hit a third homer, the sculpture would not have been activated for fear of harming the cat.
Ozuna hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, a three-run homer in the third and a two-run homer in the fifth, doubling his season RBI total and hiking his average to .423. The two-homer game was the second of his career.
Miami’s Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich had three hits apiece.
Nick Markakis hit a solo homer for the Braves, who fell to 1-6 with their fifth consecutive loss.
Dan Straily (1-1) allowed three runs, two earned, in five innings for his first victory since joining Miami.
Bartolo Colon (0-1) allowed six runs in four innings.
Three members of the Marlins’ 1997 World Series championship team threw out the ceremonial first pitch — Livan Hernandez, Edgar Renteria and Charles Johnson. And then the 2017 Marlins came out swinging.
Gordon, J.T. Realmuto and Yelich reached on consecutive singles to start a three-run first. Ozuna’s three-run homer in the third made it 6-0.
The family of Jose Fernandez decided not to attend the Marlins’ home opener because it would have been too emotional, Samson said. A tribute will be held later for the late ace, who died in a boat crash in September.
“It’s still fresh. It still hurts,” Samson said. “We want to wait for a little more healing.”
Marlins players said they went into the home opener mindful of Fernandez.
“He’s still part of this team,” Yelich said.
Right-hander Julio Teheran was announced as the Braves’ starter for their home opener in their new stadium Friday against San Diego.
Marlins: 3B Martin Prado (right hamstring) is scheduled to begin a four-day rehabilitation assignment Wednesday with Class A Jupiter. He said he intently watched telecasts of his team’s road games last week. “Let me put it this way — I was making plays on defense and diving on my bed,” he said.
RHP Odrisamer Despaigne was reinstated from the 10-day DL and optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
RHP Jaime Garcia (0-1, 6.00) is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Braves against RHP Tom Koehler (0-0, 1.80).
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