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Jupiter's Ozuna tallies six RBIs again06/11/2012 11:27 PM ET
By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com
Marcell Ozuna is on a certifiable hot streak, but as far he's concerned, it's already in the past.
Just one night after hitting three homers and driving in six runs, the Marlins' No. 5 prospect went deep twice and added six more RBIs on Monday to vault Class A Advanced Jupiter past Bradenton, 10-5.
For the second game in a row, the 21-year-old outfielder tied his career high for most RBIs. He had previously hit the half-a-dozen mark only once -- Aug. 12, 2010 for Class A Short-Season Jamestown -- in his previous 382 contests.
That kind of infrequency kept Ozuna and those around him from thinking that he would be able to duplicate Sunday night's performance.
"Tonight, it was a new day," he said. "My coach [Jupiter manager Andy Haines] told me, 'Tomorrow's another day,' and that was the way I was thinking about it."
However, when the slugger arrived at Bradenton's McKechnie Field, he did notice one thing that could work in his favor.
"I didn't think it would be a six-RBI game again, but I thought I had a chance to repeat," Ozuna said. "The wind was blowing out to right, and I knew I'd have some chances to aim for the right-center field gap."
He did just that.
The Dominican native, a right-handed hitter, opened the scoring with an RBI line-drive single to center with one out in the first inning. He stepped to the plate again in the fifth and drove a solo homer to right field.
In the eighth, Ozuna produced his biggest home run of the past two days. After Mark Canha was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put the Hammerheads up a run at 6-5, the squad's center fielder provided a little insurance. Ozuna went the opposite way again for a grand slam, the first of his five-year career in the Minor Leagues.
"I was hoping [Bradenton reliever Kenn Kasparek] would throw me a slider," he said. "They threw me a changeup outside earlier that I rolled over for a groundout. There was one out, so I thought it'd be a slider. Instead, he threw a splitter first, and I hit a foul ball. Then on the second pitch, he threw the slider, and I hit it for a home run to right field."
With Monday's two home runs, Ozuna's season total stands at 15 through 61 games, putting him ahead of last year's rate when he hit 23 through 131 contests for Class A Greensboro. The increase in power this season seems to stem from a similar uptick in comfort with the Minor Leagues for the 21-year-old.
"I tried too much in the first half last year because it was my second season [above Rookie ball]," Ozuna said. "I was thinking, 'I got to hit home runs every time.' But the second half is always my time. I'm going to always hit better in the second half. I always say, 'It's not about how you started, it's how you finish.'"
The mantra could be a scary thought for Florida State League pitchers. The Jupiter outfielder leads the 12-team circuit with those 15 blasts and ranks second with his 46 RBIs.
Still though, Ozuna reiterated that he wasn't about to dwell on his numbers, no matter how robust they are.
"For tomorrow, I'm going to do the same thing," he said. "I'm going to hit in the cage, wait for my pitch and play the game hard like I always do. Today's in the past. Tomorrow's a new day."
Canha also homered, scored three times and drove in two runs for the Hammerheads. Daniel Pertusati also added a solo blast of his own.
Marauders designated hitter Stefan Welch went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.