Ozuna even surprised himself

MIAMI — Run at your own risk on Marcell Ozuna.

Twice on Friday night the Mets did, only to be thwarted at the plate by Ozuna’s powerful throwing arm.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia tags out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to end game. (Jose Pineiro/Miami Marlins)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia tags out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to end game. (Jose Pineiro/Miami Marlins)

In the eighth inning, Ozuna pegged David Wright at the plate to preserve a one-run lead. And in the ninth inning, Ozuna did the remarkable, launching a throw from deep left field that reached Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the fly. Salty applied the tag on Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the final out.

Remarkably, the Marlins held on to a 3-2 win over the Mets in as dramatic a finish as the team has had this year.

Even Ozuna was stunned he could get the speedy Nieuwenhuis, who was tagging.

“I wanted to get as much thrust as I could to make the throw to the plate,” Ozuna said. “At first I didn’t think I had a chance. I said ‘Well, I’ll throw it anyway you never know what can happen. He might fall.’ I was just trying to do what the coaches always tell me and keep it low and thankfully it went right where it needed to.”

Closer Steve Cishek was certainly stunned. His first reaction was frustration when Chris Young lifted the fly to deep left.

“He went back to like the fence and then all of a sudden, he was sprinting in,” Cishek said. “I was like, ‘Wait! Wait! Wait! I know what kind of arm he’s got.’ He just let it fly.”

Saltalamacchia said he was never involved in a game with two outfield throws at the plate that were so amazing.

“Well he started at the Clevelander, so I didn’t think he had a shot,” Saltalamacchia said of the final out. “I thought the ball was going to be deeper. Then all of a sudden, he kept running in. That’s a tough throw. Big moment. You tend to do too much. He just made a perfect throw.”

– Joe Frisaro

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