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20-year Marliniversary: Marlins complete sweep of Cubs on Floyd’s pinch-hit walk-off homer

Clutch Cliff Floyd took his former teammate deep in 2000 to keep a Florida Marlins winning streak alive.

Cliff Floyd #30... Getty Images

During the 2000 campaign, the Florida Marlins collected nine walk-off wins. That included four walk-off home runs. Two of those that season came off the bat of outfielder Cliff Floyd, including one on this day 20 years ago.

The Marlins were 37-38 and looking to get to .500 as they hosted the Chicago Cubs at Pro Player Stadium for the finale of a three-game set on June 25, 2000. Floyd’s 10th-inning blast lifted the Marlins to an 8-7 victory to complete the sweep.

The contest went back and forth before ending in dramatic fashion.

The Marlins led 3-0 after an inning. Following a bases-loaded walk to Derrek Lee, shortstop Dave Berg came through with a two-run single.

The Cubs drew to within one on a two-run homer by José Nieves off starter Ryan Dempster in the second before tying the game on a solo shot by Brant Brown in the third. A two-run triple in the fourth gave Chicago a 5-3 lead.

The Marlins seemed to be in good shape entering the late innings after pushing across four runs in the seventh to take a 7-5 lead. Mark Smith and Lee each lifted two-run home runs during the frame.

It took the Cubs just a half-inning to answer with a pair of unearned runs. Shortstop Álex González, who had entered the game that inning as a defensive replacement, made two errors in the top of the eighth. After Glenallen Hill’s RBI single drew Chicago to within one, Nieves tied the game at seven with a sacrifice fly to left.

Closer Antonio Alfonseca worked a perfect top of the 10th. Cubs reliever Steve Rain had retired all four batters he faced, including catcher Mike Redmond to open the bottom of the 10th.

Florida manager John Boles then called on Floyd to pinch hit. With Floyd coming to the plate, the left-handed slugger would get to see a familiar face. With one out and no one on, Cubs manager Don Baylor countered by going to the bullpen and lefty reliever Felix Heredia. They had been teammates with the Marlins for more than a season and both were members of the 1997 team that won the World Series.

On the first pitch from Heredia, Floyd deposited the pitch into the right-field stands. The homer served as the second walk-off blast for Floyd that year and lifted the Marlins to an 8-7 victory.

Berg and second baseman Luis Castillo each tallied two hits for the Marlins in the win. Castillo and third baseman Mike Lowell each scored a pair of runs in the victory. Alfonseca earned the win. Nieves drove in three runs for the Cubs. Brown was 2-for-5 with the solo shot and two runs scored.

The night’s hero, however, saw just one pitch. Floyd wrapped up the sweep and sent the Sunday afternoon crowd home with a smile. He did so on this day two decades ago.