July 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano (center) is greeted by teammates after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Hero Of The Game: Justin Ruggiano (.315 WPA)
Goat Of The Game: Edward Mujica (-.384 WPA)
Play Of The Game: With runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth inning, Donnie Murphy hit a triple to right field that scored Justin Ruggiano and Austin Kearns and gave Miami a 4-2 lead. (.294 WPA)
Justin Ruggiano was a player that the Marlins had interest in since the start of spring training. Ruggiano decided to go to camp with Houston, but ended up not making the big league club. In the middle of May, Miami acquired the 30 year old outfielder that hadn't received an opportunity from the Astros, in exchange for a minor league catcher. Now in the lineup everyday, Ruggiano's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Marlins their first series victory of July.
Jose Reyes began the bottom of the 10th inning with a bloop double into left field off of Padres reliever Brad Brach. With first base open, Brach intentionally walked Carlos Lee, before Ruggiano hit a single to left field for his first career walk-off hit.
Several scouts were present at Marlins Park on Sunday afternoon to watch Josh Johnson pitch. Johnson fell behind several hitters early, and coming off of what could be considered his best outing of the year against the Braves, he wasn't sharp.
Lefty Clayton Richard gave the Marlins trouble early on, which is nothing new considering the Marlins' consistent struggles against lefties.
The Padres added another run off of Johnson in the fourth. Will Venable walked with one out, John Baker reached on a ball that rolled right under Jose Reyes' glove, and Logan Forsythe followed with a walk. Richard came to the plate with the bags loaded and one out and helped himself by allowing Venable to score from third on a sac fly, giving the Padres a 2-0 advantage.
Richard remained sharp, and Johnson was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth. Johnson only gave up one earned run but walked a career-high six batters while striking out four over five innings. The two runners that crossed the plate against Johnson both reached on a walk.
Miami was finally able to get on the board in the sixth. Emilio Bonifacio lead off the inning with a single, and after Donovan Solano, getting a start in left field, flied out, Jose Reyes singled which allowed Bonifacio to advance to third. Bonifacio scored on a sac fly by Carlos Lee, off of San Diego reliever Dale Thayer. With Ruggiano at the plate, Reyes stole second and advanced to third on an error by John Baker. Reyes then scored on an RBI single by Ruggiano that tied the game at 2.
Ruggiano stole second, which lead the Padres to subsequently walk Austin Kearns, getting a start against the lefty Richard. Donnie Murphy, who was called up to play third after the Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez, crushed a ball to right field for a triple that gave the Marlins a 4-2 lead.
Mike Dunn retired the side in order in the 7th, but the Padres rallied against Edward Mujica in the eighth. Carlos Quentin singled on a ball that got through the hole on the left side, and University of Miami alumnus Yonder Alonso hit a two run homer to tie the game.
Heath Bell and Steve Cishek shut the door in the eighth and ninth, and Ryan Webb, who picked up the win, escaped a bases loaded, two out jam in the tenth to allow the Marlins to head to the bottom of the frame tied, before Ruggiano ended the game.
Manager Ozzie Guillen successfully used his available players, as the Marlins only had four players on the bench at the start of the game and few left in the bullpen as the game approached extra innings.