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20-year Marliniversary: Fish sweep Giants with three straight walk-offs

On this date in 1999, the Marlins reached the emotional high point of their season by wrapping up a series full of last at-bat wins.

Florida Marlins center fielder Preston Wilson misp RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images

The 1999 season for the Florida Marlins wasn’t one to remember, but after a 108-loss campaign the year prior, the season was a step in the right direction. They completed a three-game sweep on four occasions, none of them more thrilling than a home series against the San Francisco Giants during the second week of August. The Marlins won all three games in walk-off fashion, with the final of those wins coming on this day 20 years ago.

Florida was feeling good about itself entering the series, coming off a sweep of the Colorado Rockies at home, allowing just one run in each of the three games. They would continue their winning ways against the Giants.

In the series opener on Aug. 9, the Marlins overcame a 4-0 deficit in the eighth inning for a 5-4 win. Mike Lowell tied the contest in the eighth with a two-out grand slam off John Johnstone. After Jesús Sánchez worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth for Florida, the Marlins wasted no time threatening in the bottom half. Preston Wilson doubled and Luis Castillo laid down a bunt single off Johnstone, then utility man Dave Berg came through with a walk-off single against former Florida closer Robb Nen.

Over the next two days, the Marlins would need extra innings.

On Aug. 10, the Giants forced extras by drawing even against Florida closer Antonio Alfonseca on an RBI single by Bill Mueller in the top of the ninth to even the game, 7-7. After a perfect inning from Alfonseca in the 10th and two scoreless frames from Brian Edmondson, Berg again delivered the walk-off single. After Danny Bautista and Castillo came up with back-to-back one-out singles, Berg ended the game with a line drive to center off San Francisco’s Felix Rodriguez as Florida prevailed, 8-7.

On Aug. 11, the Marlins needed 10 innings to complete the sweep with a 6-5 victory. Florida trailed 5-1 entering the bottom of the sixth before drawing to within one on a three-run Lowell homer. Down 5-4 in the ninth, Florida forced extras with an unearned run off Nen on a two-out RBI single from outfielder Todd Dunwoody. Lowell would end the game and the series an inning later with a walk-off single against Nen to score Chris Clapinski.

Those extended Florida’s winning streak to six at the time; it ultimately ended at a season-high tying seven games with a loss to the San Diego Padres on Aug. 14.

The thrilling sweep of the Giants marked the first time in Marlins history that the club had notched walk-off wins in three straight days or in three straight games. That series came to an end on this day two decades ago.