Being one-hit through nine innings on the road against baseball’s best team is rarely a recipe for success. On this day two decades ago, however, the Florida Marlins made it work in an extra-innings win over the Atlanta Braves.
Cliff Floyd had both hits for the Marlins in the next-to-last game of the season at Turner Field on Oct. 2, 1999. The last one of the two left the yard as Florida handed the Braves their final loss of the regular season with a 1-0 victory.
Through nine innings, Floyd’s first-inning single accounted for Florida’s only hit and gave the Marlins their only baserunner. The Braves however, had yet to score as the contest went to extra innings tied, 0-0.
After Álex González struck out swinging to lead off the top of the 10th, Floyd came to the plate and saw just one pitch from Atlanta reliever Derrin Ebert. Floyd was able to hammer the pitch from the lefty into the right-field stands for the game’s only run.
In the bottom of the 10th, Marlins’ closer Antonio Alfonseca induced a double play ball before getting Gerald Williams to fly out with the tying run at second base to end the game. Alfonseca picked up his 21st and final save of the year. Braden Looper worked a scoreless ninth to earn the win for Florida.
Atlanta would finish 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, squandering an outstanding start from Bruce Chen. Chen allowed just the Floyd single in six innings while striking out six. Kevin McGlinchy and Sean Bergman combined to work three perfect innings of relief. For the Marlins, starter Ryan Dempster worked eight shutout innings, yielding just five hits and one walk while striking out seven.
The victory would serve as the final win of the 1999 season for the Marlins as the Braves took the rubber game the next day with an 18-0 victory to finish the regular season a league-best record of 103-59. Atlanta would go on to be swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series. The Marlins finished with the worst record in the National League at 64-98.
Florida pitched just five shutouts during the 1999 season, but two of those came against Atlanta. Thanks to two hits from Floyd and an outstanding collective pitching effort, the final of those two came on this day 20 years ago.