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20-year Marliniversary: Lowell’s walk-off home run caps Marlins’ comeback win over Reds

Mike Lowell had never hit a walk-off homer in the big leagues and All-Star Danny Graves had never allowed one. There’s a first time for everything!

Mike Lowell #19 Getty Images

Mike Lowell had a prosperous career with 12 full seasons at the Major League level. A four-time All-Star and 2005 Gold Glove winner, Lowell’s best seasons came with the Florida Marlins. During his time in South Florida, Lowell was responsible for big hits and great memories. He left Florida after seven seasons with the franchise as the club’s all-time home run leader.

Lowell’s first walk-off blast came on this day 20 years and capped the Marlins’ comeback in a 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Marlins were trying to avoid the three-game sweep as they hosted the Reds at Pro Player Stadium on Aug. 27, 2000.

Down 1-0, Preston Wilson led off the fourth inning with a solo shot for Florida to tie the game. The Marlins went ahead with two runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Derrek Lee and a sacrifice fly from Mike Redmond.

That lead would last just a half-inning.

After Sean Casey singled in a run for Cincinnati in the seventh, Dante Bichette put the Reds ahead with a three-run home run. He added another RBI for the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

The Fish trailed 6-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, but showed their resiliency. Florida pinch hitter Mark Smith had just doubled home a run to cut the Reds’ lead to 6-4 when Cincinnati’s All-Star closer Danny Graves entered with one out in the bottom of the eighth. After an error on third baseman Chris Stynes allowed the Marlins to draw within one, Graves gave up the tying single to Luis Castillo.

After Dan Miceli worked out a jam in the top of the ninth, Graves was left in to work the bottom half.

Graves was able to get Wilson to ground out to lead off the inning as Lowell stepped to the plate. Graves fell behind in the count 3-1 before giving in with a fastball. Lowell hammered it over the wall in left field for a walk-off home run, the second long ball of the night for the Marlins.

Lee finished 3-for-4 for Florida in the victory, but the heroics belonged to Lowell.

It would be four years later before Lowell lifted another walk-off home run in a Marlins win over the New York Mets. That would be the final walk-off blast of his career. The first came on this day two decades ago.