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Harold Ramírez’s walk-off lifts Marlins in 12 innings

It took an exhausting four hours and 14 minutes, but “Hitting Harold” sent the fans home with a smile.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins closed the month of July with a frustrating 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, but opened the month of August in walk-off style. Harold Ramírez smashed his seventh homer of the season off Cody Stashak in the home half of the 12th, lifting the Marlins to a 5-4 victory Thursday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Preventing a three-game sweep, Miami did not lead at any point throughout the contest before Ramirez’s walk-off.

Jordan Yamamoto, seeking his first victory since July 16 vs. San Diego, ran into a hiccup in the opening frame. On the fourth pitch of the game, Yamamoto served up a solo homer to Max Kepler, as the ball carried deep over the right field wall near the foul pole. Aside from Ramirez’s one-out RBI triple in the second, Twins righty Michael Pineda limited Miami to seven hits over six innings of work. Byron Buxton, who has haunted the Marlins throughout the series (including homering Tuesday night), delivered a two-out, two-run double to left in the fourth, as the baseball just landed fair inside the line, scoring Miguel Sano and Ehire Adrianza. That extended Minnesota’s lead to 3-1.

Minnesota tacked on an insurance run in the fifth, after Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly brought home Luis Arraez. Yamamoto managed to work through six innings without surrendering a walk, striking out a career-high eight hitters.

Minnesota’s initial relievers were untouchable. Tyler Duffey tossed a scoreless seventh and Sergio Romo—facing his former club for the second time in three days—recorded three pop outs in the eighth.

Likewise, Miami’s Adam Conley pitched a perfect seventh. Recently recalled Tyler Kinley, making his first relief appearance since surrendering four walk June 9 vs. the Atlanta Braves, escaped the eighth unharmed.

The Marlins entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-1. According to FanGraphs, their win probability at that point was a microscopic 3.3%.

Acquired via trade from the San Francisco Giants Wednesday afternoon, Sam Dyson ran into trouble immediately. A leadoff walk from Curtis Granderson followed by a Martin Prado double set up runners on the corners for Jon Berti. Berti doubled home Granderson, sending Prado to third. After walking Brian Anderson on five pitches to load the bases (still with no outs recorded), manager Rocco Baldelli removed Dyson in favor of Taylor Rogers.

Rogers, the usual Twins closer, had pitched in back-to-back nights. He was greeted by Neil Walker, who struck a two-run single to center, tying the score at 4-4.

With runners on the corners and zero outs, Rogers punched out Starlin Castro, Jorge Alfaro and Bryan Holaday, stranding the bases loaded and sending the game to extra innings.

Jarlin Garcia, Jose Quijada and Jeff Brigham combined to throw four scoreless frames, with Brigham earning his first major league win.

A rare Friday travel day means the Marlins will not return to action until Saturday evening, opening a brief two-game interleague set against interstate rival and recent trade partner Tampa Bay. Elieser Hernandez, who returned to the rotation July 28, pitched four scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. Manager Kevin Cash has not announced his official starter. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m.

Twins vs. Marlins box score (Baseball Theater)

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