Sluggers step up with Marlins lacking 2-out hits

Sluggers step up with Marlins lacking 2-out hits

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna each offered some much-needed two-out power for the Marlins on Monday night in their 5-2 win over the Cubs at Marlins Park.

The two most dangerous hitters in Miami's offense each delivered crucial run-scoring extra-base hits at important times. Ozuna laced a three-run double to right-center in the fifth inning, and Stanton propelled an opposite-field home run in the seventh.

All five of Miami's runs came on two out extra-base hits. In the second inning, Adeiny Hechavarria collected an RBI double.

Hechavarria's RBI double

"Tonight it was Ozo and it was huge for us," manager Dan Jennings said. "The old saying, 'Two-out hits get you to heaven.' Well, he's earning the spot. It was great to see. It was a big lift for us, a big moment and it was definitely a momentum swing for us."

Ozuna's double was the game-changer. Miami loaded the bases with no outs, but Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks nearly got out of it. He struck out Stanton and retired Justin Bour on a popout to short.

Then Ozuna crushed the first pitch he saw to right-center, clearing the bases and giving Miami a 4-2 lead.

"I'm just trying to put the ball in play," Ozuna said. "I tried not to do too much and let's see what happens. That's what happened, I got a double. It cleared the bases."

To Stanton, Ozuna's double saved the day.

"If we don't come out of that one scoring any runs, that puts a damper on the whole atmosphere, and we know we didn't get the job done," Stanton said. "He really picked up me and Bour right there. That's the turning point in the game."

All season the Marlins have been hungry for two-out hits. They entered the night batting .210 in two-out situations.

Stanton had a chance for redemption in the seventh inning, again hitting with two outs. He didn't disappoint, connecting on a towering homer to right off lefty Zac Rosscup.

Stanton goes yard

Statcast™ projected the blast to have landed 409 feet away, with an exit velocity of 107 mph.

"I have to have a good at-bat," Stanton said. "That's not a good at-bat. Yeah, I got the barrel to it. Good result. But I've got to be more in tune to things."

The home run was a step in the right direction, but he was disappointed in not coming through in the fifth.

"The situation earlier is unacceptable in every aspect of the game," Stanton said. "I just have to bring my focus in a little better."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.