Left fielder Christian Yelich will be back from the disabled list Sunday and Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he plans on starting him out in his usual spot.
Redmond had discussed in the past playing Marcell Ozuna over in left field more to utilize his arm. Ozuna has started in left field in 10 of his last 12 games with Yelich on the disabled list.
"I know O's arm plays better in left. I just like him out there in center," Redmond said. "He covers a lot more ground out there, but we'll see. That's not to say we won't mix and match them too."
The Marlins will decide after Saturday's game how to make room for Yelich. Outfielder Jake Marisnick, who has held Yelich's roster spot over the last two weeks, is the likely candidate to be sent down. He is batting .159 in 12 games.
OZUNA'S NEAR CATCH
In the eighth inning of Friday's series opener, Redmond brought Marisnick in to play centerfield and moved Ozuna to left. Oakland's Josh Reddick hit a liner to left and Ozuna dove for the ball, hoping to make the final out of the inning. But as he lifted his glove in the air to show the umpire he had made the catch, the ball trickled away.
Ozuna said he didn't realize the ball was out until he heard Marisnick yelling to throw home. Stephen Vogt managed to come around from first to score the tying run on the play. Oakland added four more runs in the ninth for a 9-5 win. After the game, Redmond called Ozuna's dive "a little aggressive" given the circumstances.
"Most of the time with two outs when you have a chance to dive and catch it, you do it and that's what happened on my play," Ozuna said. "When I was diving I closed my glove and I thought I had it."
CLOSE PLAYS AT PLATE
Friday's game saw two bang-bang plays at the plate, and the A's won out on each.
In the third inning, Yoenis Cespedes tallied his league-leading 10th outfield assist by gunning down Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton seemed to beat the throw to the plate but did not touch it with his feet, and Derek Norris laid down a tag before Stanton touched the plate with his hand.
"I just think the quickest way is just to slide straight to the plate. Since you can't run the catcher over anymore it's kind of caused guys to try to go around and avoid the contact, which is too bad," Redmond said. "You take the aggressiveness out of the play for the runner. The aggressiveness really is all in the catcher. That's not really fair to the runner. It's just one of those things where it's going to take the runners some time to get used to of when to slide and how to slide. I think always the way to go is just slide straight in. That rule has definitely affected those plays at home plate."
In the top of the ninth, Oakland's Coco Crisp went in feet first and was able to tap a foot on the plate before Jeff Mathis could swipe him with his glove.
"If my feet hit first I would have been safe and it was the same idea with Coco," Stanton said Saturday. "Things like that change the whole game."
Mathis said he needs to work on getting his tag down faster, like a middle infielder defending a steal. Before MLB instituted a rule to prevent collisions at home plate this spring, Mathis would work to secure the ball with two hands and anchor himself between the runner and the plate. Now that MLB requires him to give baserunners a lane, he said he needs to work on getting a slap tag down faster.
"It’s a different play for a lot of guys used to really blocking the plate," Mathis said. "You've just got to make a better tag -- a quicker tag."
DYSON RECALLED UP
Sam Dyson became the lastest Marlins relief pitcher to get called up from the minors and join a tired bullpen. The pitcher got his first win in the big leagues on June 17 and was sent down soon after.
"The travel is getting to me -- flying one place, flying another, get a couple days off and then fly somewhere else," Dyson said. "But it's definitely fun flying up here regardless of if it's for a couple days or for a month."
Friday, left-hander Brian Flynn flew to Miami from Nashville early in the morning, pitched three innings, and then was optioned back to Triple A New Orleans after the game. The Marlins' bullpen has had to work hard this month. They've used five relievers in each of their last two games.
> Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos expressed regret Saturday after Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday. Ramos hit Ruiz in the helmet in Thursday's 14-inning marathon in Philadelphia.
"I feel really bad about that," Ramos said. "There’s nothing I can do but apologize for it but it doesn’t make anything better. I just hope that everything comes out ok for him."
-- JACOB FELDMAN
> Athletics (49-30): 1. Coco Crisp CF, 2. John Jaso C, 3. Yoenis Cespedes LF, 4. Brandon Moss 1B, 5. Josh Donaldson 3B, 6. Jed Lowrie SS, 7. Josh Reddick RF, 8. Alberto Callaspo 2B, 9. Sonny Gray RHP.
> Marlins (39-41): 1. Reed Johnson LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 8. Donovan Solan SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.