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Marcell Ozuna Booed by Braves Fans in 1st Game Since Arrest on DUI Charge

Doric SamAugust 21, 2022

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna made his first appearance since Thursday night's arrest on a DUI charge in Sunday's game against the Houston Astros, and he didn't receive a warm welcome from the home crowd.

According to ESPN, Braves fans booed Ozuna before his first at-bat during the second inning, and the boos grew louder when he struck out against Astros starter Jose Urquidy.

Ozuna was showered with boos once again after he struck out in the fifth inning. His day ended early when Eddie Rosario replaced him as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. It was Ozuna's first game since Aug. 14, as he didn't make an appearance in the first six games of Atlanta's seven-game homestand.

The 31-year-old had his playing time reduced because of another disappointing level of production this season. He entered Sunday batting .214 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI, his second straight year batting under .215. The Braves had rewarded him with a four-year, $65 million contract after a strong 2020 season in which he hit .338 and led the National League with 18 homers and 56 RBI.

This was Ozuna's second arrest in the past two years, as he was also arrested in May 2021 on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery. Police officers said they witnessed Ozuna attacking his wife, but the charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial diversion program. He was placed on administrative leave during an MLB investigation and missed Atlanta's World Series title run.

Ozuna received a 20-game suspension under MLB's domestic violence policy in November for his 2021 arrest. He was allowed to start this season because the suspension was retroactive to Sept. 10 and covered the last 24 days of last season.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he's unsure if Ozuna will face another suspension for this latest arrest. The team released a statement Friday, saying the "organization takes these matters very seriously and are obviously disappointed by the situation," but declined further comment amid the ongoing legal situation.

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