Ozuna’s ad­just­ments work­ing

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BASEBALL -

ST. LOUIS — Mar­cell Ozuna’s right shoul­der is healthy, and he can fo­cus on hit­ting in­stead of ad­just­ing to his new team

“I’m just work­ing harder every day, es­pe­cially if healthy,” Ozuna said af­ter hit­ting a three-run homer and driv­ing in five runs to lead the Cardinals over the Reds 6-3 on Satur­day. “I’m just go­ing to work and work and work every day, and then have suc­cess at the plate.”

Ozuna’s 10th home run of the sea­son came af­ter the Reds took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, and put the Cardinals ahead in the bot­tom half.

Ozuna be­came the third Cardinals player to hit 10 homers by the end of April af­ter Mark McGwire, who hit 11 in 1998, and Al­bert Pu­jols, who had 14 in 2006. Ozuna, fight­ing his sore shoul­der, didn’t hit his 10th last sea­son un­til June 16.

“I hit the ball harder every time,” Ozuna said. “When you hit the ball harder, ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to hap­pen.”

Ozuna gave the Cardinals a 5-2 lead in the fifth when he hit a two-out dou­ble off the wall in right.

Dakota Hud­son (2-1) al­lowed three runs and seven hits in 52⁄3 in­nings, pitch­ing into the sixth for the first time as a ma­jor league starter.

“We made ad­just­ments in my last bullpen — moved over on the rub­ber a lit­tle bit,” Hud­son said. “I felt like my fast­ball ex­e­cu­tion was a lit­tle bet­ter, and that’s a re­sult of me get­ting a lit­tle bit bet­ter sink on it.”

Yadier Molina ex­tended his hit­ting streak to 14 games with a sin­gle in the fourth. Team­mate Paul Gold­schmidt ex­tended his hit­ting streak to 13 games with a sin­gle in the third.

SCOTT KANE/GETTY

Mar­cell Ozuna cel­e­brates with team­mate Car­los Martinez af­ter his three-run homer.

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