Ozuna helps save day with clutch throw

Ozuna helps save day with clutch throw

MIAMI -- On the same day he learned he will start Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in place of Yoenis Cespedes, Marcell Ozuna delivered an All-Star-worthy throw to help save the Marlins' 4-2 win over the Reds on Saturday at Marlins Park.

With Miami clinging to a one-run lead with one out in the seventh, Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips tried to take third on Ramon Cabrera's single to center. Ozuna came up throwing and nailed Phillips for the second out of the inning. Phillips was originally ruled safe, but the call was overturned when replay showed he couldn't avoid the tag from third baseman Martin Prado.

"I think the ball caught me. I didn't catch the ball," Prado said. "There was a lot going on by the time Brandon was sliding. I catch it and apply the tag and just hoped we got the out. That was a big out for us."

Relief pitcher David Phelps surrendered a double just four pitches later to pinch-hitter Ivan De Jesus. Miami then held its 3-2 lead when Kyle Barraclough entered for Phelps and induced Zack Cozart to bounce out.

Barraclough works out of a jam

Marlins manager Don Mattingly recognized Ozuna's impact.

"Yeah, I would say. It's just one of those incredible throws," Mattingly said. "Thank god for replay, right? As much as we complain about it, obviously there it ends up helping us."

Ozuna's throw wasn't the only great defensive play the Marlins made. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria sprung up and robbed Phillips of a hit to begin the ninth, snatching hope for a late Reds rally in the process. It's a well-timed play that Hechavarria has seemingly made look routine over the years.

Hechavarria's spectacular catch

"You don't want to let any inning get started," Mattingly said. "You got a two-run lead and you want to keep anyone off base that can get on there. You always feel better when you can get that first out of the inning."

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.