Yelich shows why he's won gold and silver

Yelich shows why he's won gold and silver

MIAMI -- Christian Yelich on Wednesday night showed why he's already been recognized with a National League Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award. The 25-year-old center fielder made a sparkling defensive play and then connected on a key two-run home run in the Marlins' 7-0 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park.

The Marlins had one of their most efficient and crisp games of the season, and Yelich did his part in the outfield and at the plate. Along with his 13th homer of the season, he added an RBI double.

A complete player, Yelich was the NL's Gold Glove Award-winning left fielder in 2014, and two years later, he claimed his first NL Silver Slugger Award.

In the fifth inning with Miami ahead by just a run, Yelich gave the Marlins some breathing room with his two-run homer to center off A.J. Cole. Dee Gordon tripled, and with one out and the infield in, Yelich connected.

Yelich's two-run home run

"I think Yeli's was big," manager Don Mattingly said. "You're trying to get something to drive, it looked like in the middle of the field."

After posting a career-high 21 home runs in 2016, Yelich had a downward spike in power in the first half of this season. But since the All-Star break, the left-handed-hitting outfielder has picked things up. Yelich now has 13 home runs, with five in 19 second-half games. In 84 games before the break, he hit just eight homers.

His moonshot to center gave Miami a 3-0 lead, and Derek Dietrich added another two-run shot in the inning to put the game out of reach.

"I'm just trying to hit a fly ball to the outfield, really," Yelich said. "They have the infield in. I'm just trying to get something up in the air. I got it up in the air. I didn't know if it was going to have enough to get out. I got under it a lot. It carried out and worked out good for us. And Deets hits the one a couple of batters later.

Statcast™ projected Yelich's drive to center field at 402 feet, with an exit speed of 108 mph. Because the launch angle was 36 degrees, that ball, at its apex, was 133 feet off the ground.

The Marlins tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning on Yelich's two-out RBI double, scoring Gordon and making it 7-0.

Yelich's RBI double

Miami received a strong start from right-hander Vance Worley, who scattered two hits and faced the minimum of 21 batters through seven shutout innings.

Yelich stepped up with two outs in the sixth inning and made a nice diving catch on Anthony Rendon's fly ball.

"I got a bad jump on it, that's why I kind of turned it into that play," Yelich said. "He had a good, hard swing, and hit it off the end. I started back, and then had to go in. So, if I got a better read on it, it would have been a routine play. You just run out for those ones as hard as possible, and try to make up as much ground as you can. I was able to get there, just in time."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. 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.