October 16, 2020 | 2:09am
Marcell Ozuna’s bat was conspicuously silent in the NLCS through the first three games, but he may have compensated for those earlier shortcomings with one huge outburst Thursday night.
With Ozuna going 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs, the Braves received the offensive jolt they needed behind Bryse Wilson’s strong pitching performance.
“The energy that Marcell brings to the team is unbelievable,” Wilson said after the Braves beat the Dodgers 10-2 in Game 4 in Arlington, Texas. “It’s regardless if he has an 0-for-4 or a night like he has tonight, the energy is always there and it has translated throughout the whole team. This team is so much fun to be around and he’s a big part of it for sure.”
Ozuna entered 2-for-13 in the series after leading the NL in homers and RBIs during the regular season.
“I was a little struggling and jumping forward and swinging crazy and today I gave myself a break,” Ozuna said, noting that he skipped batting practice and limited his pregame activity to hitting in the indoor cage.
Dustin May, who pitched 1 ²/₃ innings of shutout relief in Game 1, will start for the Dodgers on Friday. Braves manager Brian Snitker ruled out the possibility of turning to ace Max Fried on short rest Friday, leaving him to find a starter from the bullpen. Snitker was still evaluating his options after Thursday’s win.
Four straight nights of games in front of roughly 11,000 fans could be considered a good start for MLB, which held games in empty ballparks during the regular season.
“It’s better than no fans,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “They are very loud, they are very into the game, so it’s great for the people on the field. Certainly I wish we could have more, but being mindful of protocols and be responsible — that’s the best we can do in the state of Texas — so I am just happy we can have some fans.”