Ozuna makes All-Star throw to save run

Ozuna makes All-Star throw to save run

MIAMI -- For the second straight day, All-Star center fielder Marcell Ozuna showed why he'll be starting Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

With two runs having already scored in the fourth inning and no outs, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips rounded third on Tucker Barnhart's single to center. Ozuna fired a strike to catcher J.T. Realmuto, who applied a quick tag on the sliding Phillips just in time. The throw kept the Reds' lead at 3-2, but the Marlins would rally to win the finale, 7-3.

"Right-on-the-money throw," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That's what he's capable of doing."

It marked the second straight game Ozuna has saved at least one run with his arm, both by throwing out Phillips on the basepaths. He threw out Phillips in the seventh inning of the Marlins' 4-2 win on Saturday.

Ozuna nabs Phillips

At 225 pounds, the 6-foot-1 Ozuna isn't your prototypical center fielder. But Mattingly has liked what he's seen from him this year, especially out of his arm.

"He's always had a cannon. That's one of the things you talk about in meetings. This guy can throw," Mattingly said. "I know last year his UZRs and all that stuff were down a little bit. He seems good to me. He's getting good breaks."

Ozuna's outfield assist Sunday marked his fifth of the season, tying him with Ichiro Suzuki for the team lead among outfielders. He said his defense helped earn him his first career All-Star selection.

"My defense right now is better. I get good jumps on the ball and can get to fly balls easier," Ozuna said.

Ozuna's outfield work hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates. In fact, All-Star Jose Fernandez said Ozuna might have a better arm than he.

"We've had this talk," he said. "He probably does. From the outfield? Yeah."

Coverage for the 2016 All-Star Game will begin Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

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.