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Yelich's hot stretch spurs Marlins from leadoff spot

Yelich's hot stretch spurs Marlins from leadoff spot

MIAMI -- Marlins leadoff hitter Christian Yelich turned a lot around in the team's past nine games.

The 22-year-old spent the first nine games in August batting .200 (7-for-35) with five walks and 10 strikeouts. Granted, four of those hits went for extra bases and Yelich drove in six runs, but he'd been struggling to set the tone at the top of the order.

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All of that seemed to change when Yelich arrived at Marlins Park on Aug. 11. That night, he went 3-for-4, scored two runs and hit an RBI single in Miami's 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

Yelich hasn't slowed down since then, with a hit in each of the Marlins' games this homestand and a .514 clip (19-for-37) in that span. He also has six multihit games and a .550 on-base percentage.

Yelich went from batting .267 at the end of the last road trip to batting .288.

If Yelich can continue his hot hitting from the leadoff spot when the Marlins start their nine-game road trip on Friday, it'll provide the rest of the lineup something to build on as Miami inches closer in the National League postseason race.

"Obviously, you just want to play well as long as you can and try to help these guys win," Yelich said. "It's important to be getting on base, whether you're home or on the road. ... We've played well enough to put ourselves in a position to make the last six weeks of the season matter, which is all you can ask for right now. We haven't accomplished anything, and we know that."

Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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