Marcell Ozuna will try to continue his offensive resurgence on Saturday when the Atlanta Braves host the visiting Seattle Mariners in the second contest of their three-game series
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Ozuna caught the ire of the Atlanta fans with his slow start; he was hitting .073 on April 24. But he’s back in their good graces after going 2-for-4 with three RBIs to help the Braves record a 6-2 win in the series opener on Friday
Ozuna has lifted his average to .189 with eight homers and 17 RBIs. He is batting .333 during his six-game hitting streak and .319 this month.
“He’s had some good at-bats and he’s making good decisions,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “You have to weather those storms. I like him up there right now.”
Ozuna will look to stay hot on Saturday against Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (1-2, 3.91 ERA). Atlanta, in turn, will use a bullpen game with right-hander Jesse Chavez (0-0, 2.50) acting as the opener
Gilbert will be making his ninth start of the season and is seeking his first win since April 12. In his most recent start on Sunday at Detroit, he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts. He has not allowed a homer in his past three starts.
He took a no-decision in the 5-3 loss to the Tigers.
“I didn’t feel like I had bad stuff. It was just a couple pitches over the middle of the plate that they took advantage of but had to try to fight through it,” Gilbert said. “And those are the ones, especially with runners on base, when you need to make a pitch that helps you out, but I didn’t always do that.”
In his start on May 8 against Texas, he became the fourth Mariners pitcher this year to have a no-hitter through at least five innings, joining Luis Castillo, Bryce Miller and Easton McGee
Gilbert will be making his first career appearance against Atlanta.
Chavez, a rubber-armed veteran, started one game last year. He allowed one run on one hit in 1 1/3 innings in his most recent appearance against Texas on Wednesday. Chavez has made 36 career appearances (11 starts) against Seattle, going 3-7 with a 5.63 ERA.
Ronald Acuna Jr. continues to swing a hot bat for the Braves. He doubled to lead off the game on Friday and came around to score. He leads the majors with seven first-inning doubles, halfway to the team record of 14 held by Freddie Freeman (2014) and Marcus Giles (2003)
Seattle’s J.P. Crawford had a double on Friday and has reached base in 15 consecutive games. Ty France went hitless on Friday and had his career-long hitting streak end at 14 games. Teoscar Hernandez had two hits and is hitting .393 (11-for-28) through the first seven games of a nine-game road trip.
The Braves placed left-hander Dylan Lee on the 15-day injured list with shoulder inflammation in his pitching arm and activated Lucas Luetge, who had been idled with left biceps tendinitis since April 17. Atlanta also signed veteran utilityman Charlie Culberson from Triple-A Gwinnett and placed Ehire Adrianza on the 60-day injured list with a left shoulder strain
–Field Level Media
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