Pirates outfielder Starling Marte saved a run for starter Gerrit Cole, venturing back to the wall in left field and bringing a Brandon Crawford fly ball back from beyond the fence in the second inning on Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. Cole had thrown an 0-1, 95 MPH fastball, which Crawford drove to the opposite field.
It proved to be a crucial play as the two teams would carry a 1-1 tie into the seventh inning. Jung Ho Kang provided the Pirates’ first run with a solo homer, and broke the 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh with another solo blast. Marte would win it in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off solo home run off of George Kontos.
Watch Marte’s nice snag:
[mlbvideo id=”398193183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]
The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.
Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.
Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.