September 24, 2023

Atlanta Braves’ Marcell Ozuna arrested on DUI charge

ATATLANTA — Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested early Friday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ozuna spoke to reporters for 18 seconds before the game against the Houston Astros. He made a statement, but didn’t take any questions.

“I disappointed my team,” he said. “I disappointed my family. I don’t have anything to say more. It’s a legal matter.”

It was the second arrest in as many years for Ozuna. He was arrested on May 29, 2021, on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery after police officers said they witnessed him attacking his wife. Those charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial diversion program.

Ozuna was arrested by a Norcross Police officer in metro Atlanta and booked into the Gwinnett County jail at about 4:30 a.m. Friday. He was charged with DUI and failure to maintain lane and was released on $1,830 bond.

Atlanta Braves’ Marcell Ozuna arrested on DUI charge

“The Atlanta Braves are aware of Marcell Ozuna’s arrest this morning and are still gathering all the facts pertaining to the incident,” the team said in a statement. “Our organization takes these matters very seriously and are obviously disappointed by the situation. As this is a legal matter, we will have no further comment until the process is complete.”

Ozuna’s was not in Friday’s lineup – the fifth straight game he has missed due to poor performance on the field, manager Brian Snitker said.

Snitker spoke to Ozuna earlier Friday but didn’t elaborate on their conversation.

“No, like I said, I think everything’s been said,” Snitker said. “We’re disappointed that it happened, and we’ll just go on.”

Ozuna, 31, is in his third season in Atlanta and in the second year of a $65 million, four-year contract. He hit .338 and led the National League with 18 homers and 56 RBI in 2020, but has dropped below .215 for two consecutive seasons.

Ozuna is hitting .214 with 20 homers and 46 RBI this season. This season’s substandard production led to reduced playing time even before the arrest.

Snitker didn’t know whether Ozuna will face a suspension.

Following the 2021 arrest, Ozuna was placed on administrative leave during a MLB investigation and missed Atlanta’s World Series championship run. He was then suspended for 20 games under its domestic violence policy in November, allowing him to return for the start of this season.

Ozuna apologized to his teammates and fans at spring training in March.

“My fans, I’m going to give you the best and I’m going to be a better person, and I’m sorry,” Ozuna said at the start of spring training.

Ozuna’s pretrial diversion program, which led to the previous charges being dropped, included 3-6 months of supervision, a 24-week family violence intervention program, at least 200 hours of community service and an anger management course.

Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout goes 1-for-4 in return after 30-game absence

DETROIT — Patrick Sandoval pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Friday night on Jared Walsh’s second-inning homer.

Sandoval (4-8) threw 97 pitches, struck out nine, walked none and didn’t allow a runner past first base as the Angels ended a three-game skid.

The 25-year-old left-hander retired 12 straight batters before Victor Reyes singled with one out in the ninth. Sandoval then got Riley Greene to ground into a game-ending double play, the third the Angels turned behind him.

Mike Trout returned to the Angels’ lineup after missing 30 games with an injury to his upper back and ribcage. He went 1-for-4 with a single. Shohei Ohtani, who totaled seven hits in his previous two games, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

“I thought he had some really good swings, especially for a guy who hasn’t faced live pitching in over a month,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He hammered that single to left and the ball he hit to right in the ninth is probably a triple if doesn’t land foul by an inch.”

Trout hadn’t played since July 12. His returns comes with only seven weeks left in another lost season for the Angels (52-67), who haven’t made the playoffs since 2014. Los Angeles has plummeted out of the postseason picture again this summer despite being in first place in the AL West on May 11.

To make room for Trout, the Angels optioned OF Steven Duggar to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Matt Manning (0-1) took a tough-luck loss, working seven innings and allowing three hits and a walk as the Tigers dropped their 10th of 12 games.

Manning’s only mistake was a 1-0 changeup he left over the middle of the plate to Walsh, who sent it over the wall in right field.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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