Marcell Ozuna thriving as Atlanta's designated hitter

Bill Shanks

So, who needs Josh Donaldson?

The Braves might have gotten a blessing in disguise when Donaldson signed a long-term contract with the Minnesota Twins. They instead turned to a one-year deal with former Cardinals' slugger Marcell Ozuna, who is thriving in Atlanta.

Ozuna became the first National League player to hit three home runs in one game at Fenway Park with a three-home run, six RBI performance Tuesday as Atlanta beat Boston 10-3.

Ozuna now has 11 home runs and 29 RBI and his average is up to .295. As a DH this season, Ozuna now has eight home runs and 19 RBI in 73 at bats.

You have to wonder if the DH sticks around, could the Braves also want Ozuna to stick around for a few more years.

Donaldson, by the way, has been hurt most of the season. He's played in only seven games for the Twins. He hit .182 with one home run and two RBI.

Along with Ozuna's great production, the Braves are getting improving numbers from Austin Riley, who is now hitting .248 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 105 at bats.

Atlanta finishes the three-game series with the Red Sox Wednesday night. Robbie Erlin (0-0, 6.00) pitches for Atlanta and the Red Sox have not named a starter yet. Game time is 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Braves (21-14) remain three games up on the Phillies (16-15) and Marlins (16-15), who also both won Tuesday night. The Mets (15-21) are now 6.5 games back while the Nationals (12-21) lost against for the fourth straight time and are now 8.0 games back of the Braves.

For more Braves coverage, listen to The Bill Shanks Show Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET on TheSuperStations.com. Follow Bill on Twitter @billshanks and you can email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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