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Marliniversary: Marlins sweep doubleheader over O’s with two wins in final AB

On this date 20 years ago, the Marlins played all through the night to pick up a pair of interleague wins in dramatic fashion.

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins have not yet had to play a doubleheader in 2019, but in 1999, the Florida Marlins played three.

Two of those resulted in sweeps in the Marlins’ favor, including one on this day 20 years ago. On June 8, 1999, Florida swept the Baltimore Orioles in a doubleheader at Pro Player Stadium with both victories coming in the final at-bat.

The teams entered the day with similar records—Baltimore was 21-34, while Florida was 21-36.

The first game of a doubleheader featured a pitchers’ duel between Baltimore All-Star Mike Mussina and Florida’s Ryan Dempster. Through seven-and-a-half innings, a solo home run by Orioles outfielder B.J. Surhoff had accounted for all the scoring.

But in the bottom of the eighth, the Marlins broke through off reliever Doug Johns. After leading off the inning with a single from Dave Berg and a double from Luis Castillo, the Orioles turned to Mike Timlin. Álex González was able to lift a fly ball to right to tie the game, but Timlin was able to get out of the frame after intentionally walking Cliff Floyd and getting Kevin Millar to ground into a double play.

After reliever Brian Edmondson worked around a pair of singles in the top of the ninth, the Marlins would win it in the bottom half.

Bruce Aven led off the Marlins’ ninth with a single. Jesse Orosco replaced Timlin for Baltimore and walked Tim Hyers and plunked Berg to load the bases with two outs. Castillo would record the game-winning RBI without swinging the bat as he took a 3-2 pitch for ball four to give the Marlins a walk-off 2-1 victory.

The second game of the doubleheader would not come in walk-off fashion, but it did come by a 5-3 score, thanks to two runs in the bottom of the eighth. That eighth would account for five of the game’s eight runs.

The Marlins took a 3-0 lead into the eighth, thanks to an RBI double from Hyers in the first and sixth innings and an RBI single from Preston Wilson in the sixth. The Orioles would draw even with four straight hits to start the frame, including doubles from Surhoff and former Marlins All-Star Jeff Conine. With the score 3-3 and runners at the corners with no one out, Florida reliever Antonio Alfonseca was able to settle in. He escaped the frame with a fielder’s choice and a pair of strikeouts.

In the bottom of the inning, it was again Hyers who supplied the offense with an RBI triple to put the Marlins ahead for good. He would come around to score on an RBI single from Aven. Hyers would finish the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs while Berg was 5-for-5 with four runs scored over the two games, including both game-winners.

The Orioles were able to put the tying run on base in the ninth, but Marlins closer Matt Mantei was able to get Conine to pop up and end the game.

A day of baseball that started just after 4 p.m. local time on a Tuesday had finally ended just before 1 a.m. on a Wednesday. It ended with a pair of wins for the Marlins in their final at-bat and it happened on this day 20 years ago.