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Ozuna gets ball of first hit autographed by teammates, calls it 'first step in my big league career'

Marcell Ozuna isn't sure how long he's going to be up in the big leagues, but he's enjoyed the ride so far and he's going to try his best to make sure it doesn't end.

The 22-year old Dominican outfielder, brought up from Double A Jacksonville to help fill the shoes of the injured Giancarlo Stanton (expected to be out around a month with a hamstring), already has his first memento. It's the ball he collected his first big league hit on in Tuesday's win over the Mets. Ozuna pulled it out of his locker Wednesday morning and showed it to reporters. Everyone on the team had signed it for him.

"It's going to go on my wall at home," said Ozuna, who singled off Mets starter Jeremy Hefner in the fifth inning Tuesday. "It was a big moment."

Ozuna, who spent last season at Single A Jupiter (.266 with 24 home runs and 95 RBI) and was tearing it up in Double A Jacksonville since joining the Suns' lineup (.333 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI in 42 at bats), said he was a bit nervous in his first game, but added "now I feel like a big leaguer."

Ozuna said his parents and sister back home in the Dominican watched Tuesday's game at home. Ozuna said his father, sister and former little league manager are flying up to Philadelphia to see Ozuna play in person for the first time Thursday. He's requested six tickets in all for family and friends.

"My mom was real happy, she was crying. My sister too," he said. "They said 'Do you feel like a big leaguer now? I said 'I do.'"

Ozuna said he was surprised the Marlins called him up so quickly, especially with a few veterans who appeared ready at the Triple A level. He said at first he didn't believe it when Suns manager Andy Barkett called him at 1:10 a.m. Tuesday to break the news he was being called up.

"He said 'Open a beer. You're a celebrity. You got your call up,'" Ozuna said. "I said 'Really?' He said, 'Why else do you think I'm calling you at 1 a.m.?"


> Mets (10-15): 1. Ruben Tejada SS, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. John Buck C, 5. Lucas Duda LF, 6. Marlon Byrd RF, 7. Ike Davis 1B, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Dillon Gee RHP.

> Marlins (8-19): 1. Juan Pierre LF, 2. Donovan Solano 2B, 3. Greg Dobbs 1B, 4. Justin Ruggiano CF, 5. Marcell Ozuna RF, 6. Chris Valaika 3B, 7. Miguel Olivo C, 8. Nick Green 2B, 9. Wade LeBlanc LHP.