Yelich can't get bunt down, hits homer instead

Yelich can't get bunt down, hits homer instead

MIAMI -- Not executing a sacrifice bunt ended up paying huge dividends for the Marlins in the eighth inning. Christian Yelich, with a runner on second, attempted a bunt that squibbed foul.

With the at-bat extended, Yelich ended up blasting a two-run homer to right field that iced the Marlins' 4-0 win over the D-Backs on Thursday night at Marlins Park.

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The decision to bunt, manager Don Mattingly said, was Yelich's decision.

"I don't think he feels great right now," Mattingly said. "I think that's an indication of him wanting to do the job for the team. Get that guy over there. That's definitely on his own. It's not really what I want, but I understand what he was doing."

Martin Prado was on second with no outs, with Giancarlo Stanton on deck in a two-run game against reliever Enrique Burgos.

As the showdown continued, instead of playing for a run, Yelich delivered the decisive blow of the night.

Statcast™ projected the home run at 420 feet from the plate, with an exit velocity of 108 mph.

The insurance made for a less stressful ninth inning for closer A.J. Ramos, who completed Miami's second shutout of the season.

"It's nice, especially with where we're at," Mattingly said. "Where we're at [bullpen] availability-wise, and where we're at with [the D-backs'] lineup. I've seen these guys enough to know they're a dangerous club. Right now, they're down a little bit, but they're a dangerous club. They can swing the bats. You don't want to let them get rolling."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.