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Robert Dugger shines, Harold walks it off in 12 innings

Shockingly effective pitching from Dugger and four relievers allowed the Marlins to defeat the Reds for the first time all season.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Harold Ramirez was a Marlins walk-off hero for the third time this season, as his 12th-inning solo home run against Raisel Iglesias toppled the Reds on Thursday night, 4-3.

  • Alex Wood: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 3 HR (102 pitches)
  • Robert Dugger: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR (106 pitches)

It was an inauspicious start for the Fish. Lewis Brinson dropped a sharp line drive off Joey Votto’s bat, extending the first inning for cleanup hitter Aristides Aquino. The soon-to-be NL Rookie of the Month made them pay (both runs unearned because of the Brinson error).

But Jon Berti provided an immediate response. Leading off the bottom of the frame with his sixth home run of the season made it just a 2-1 deficit.

To say that Dugger “settled in” from there would be an understatement. Beginning in the second inning, the right-hander retired 14 consecutive Reds batters. Four-seamer, two-seamer, slider, curveball...he had everything working, varying pitch speeds from 74-92 miles per hour.

Cincinnati finally made some noise again in the seventh with two runners on and two outs. José Iglesias fouled off nine of Dugger’s pitches before whiffing on a breaking ball to end the threat.

Meanwhile, the Marlins took the lead! Austin Dean and Starlin Castro each mashed solo homers against Alex Wood. Castro now has six long balls in August, his second-highest total in any month of his major league career.

Alas, this Marlins bullpen—and Don Mattingly’s management of it—cannot be trusted. With the score 3-2, Jarlin García was removed with a runner on first and two outs in the top of the eighth in favor of Ryne Stanek. Presumably because of the righty-righty matchup against Eugenio Suárez and Aquino? Odd considering that García has proven capable of overcoming the platoon disadvantage, while Stanek has struggled throughout his brief Marlins tenure.

You’ll be unsurprised to hear that Stanek blew the save opportunity, issuing a non-competitive walk to Suárez and hard-hit Aquino single. That being said, credit him for stopping the bleeding after that and holding firm the next inning to force extras.

Eventually, Harold came through with the heroics.

Starting a road trip (and conveniently, fleeing Hurricane Dorian), the Marlins head up to the nation’s capital for a series with the NL Wild Card race-leading Nats. Elieser Hernandez and Aníbal Sánchez will face off in game one on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Marlins vs. Reds box score (Baseball Theater)

Fish Picks answer key

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