Marlins rookie shortstop JT Riddle batted in the leadoff spot for the first time in his major league career Sunday.
The former University of Kentucky and Western Hills High School star responded with two hits, including his third home run of the season, in host Miami’s 9-2 win against the Los Angeles Angels.
“I just wanted to see the ball up,” Riddle said during a postgame interview with Fox Sports Florida. “My second at-bat I was swinging at some stuff down. … I just wanted to see a ball up and put a good swing on it. That was my approach going in, and the ball was up and (I) put the barrel on the ball.”
Riddle, whose two-run shot gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead, also had an RBI double. He’s batting .258 with six doubles and 13 RBI in 25 games. He’s batting .313 with two home runs, five doubles and nine RBI in his last eight games.
“A lot more relaxing for me,” Riddle said of his second stint in the majors this season. “Being here (before), I got some time under my feet. Got some at-bats in. Just being here, a lot more comfortable now.”
The Marlins (18-30) took two of three games against the Angels to win a series for the first time since April 23.
“To be able to win that game, win that series, was big for us,” Riddle said. “And we need to come out and we need to do it again.”
The Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer reported that the Marlins will have a tough choice to make when Adeiny Hechavarria returns from the disabled list.
“Do they hand the shortstop’s job back to Hechavarria? Or will they allow JT Riddle to remain there? It’s a question for the future, as Hechavarria is still weeks away from returning from an oblique injury.” Spencer wrote. “But the rookie from Kentucky made another nice impression on Sunday afternoon. …”