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Ozuna busting out of slump with key hits

Ozuna busting out of slump with key hits

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Ozuna busting out of slump with key hits

SAN FRANCISCO -- Coming through in the clutch just might be what it takes to get Marcell Ozuna back on track.

The Marlins certainly hope so.

Ozuna has stepped up with game-winning singles in each of Miami's first two games at AT&T Park against the Giants.

On Thursday night, the 22-year-old slapped a two-run, pinch-hit single that highlighted a 2-1 win. And in Friday's 6-3 victory, the rookie outfielder came through with the go-ahead RBI single. Both key hits came in the eighth inning.

Ozuna also added the game-tying single Friday.

"For me, I like [the pressure]," the Dominican Republic native said. "That's important. When you get in that situation, with two outs, you don't want to think too much."

Since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville on the final day of April, Ozuna has been one of Miami's most consistent run producers. But, heading into San Francisco, he had a rough stretch. In his previous eight games, he was 2-for-31 (.065) with seven strikeouts and one walk.

"I know coming into this series, he had been struggling," manager Mike Redmond said.

In May, Ozuna was hot, batting .330 with 11 RBIs and a home run in 106 at-bats.

With such a young team, the Marlins are measuring how their players handle adversity.

Right now, Ozuna is coming through on the road against the defending World Series champs.

"Those are things that we're looking for," Redmond said. "As a young player, can you come to the big leagues and respond? Are you able to recover? For those of us who have played this game, we realize how important confidence is. You're going to go through some tough times when you struggle. It's how quick can you come out of it. Hopefully, he's going to catch fire."

The way Ozuna sees it, success at San Francisco is a first step.

"For me, I broke my little slump," he said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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