Dramatic victories were a theme for the Florida Marlins early on during the 2011 season. The Marlins got off to a splendid start in April, winning 16 of their first 25 games.
The first ninth-inning comeback of that season however, came on this day 10 years ago. Against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 25, 2011, the Florida bats bailed out a struggling bullpen with two runs in the ninth in a 5-4 victory.
The Marlins got the scoring started in the third inning with a solo home run from Coghlan, but the Dodgers answered back with a run in the fourth on an RBI single from Sands.
The Marlins pulled back in front in the sixth on Coghlan’s second solo shot of the night, but the Dodgers answered with two in the seventh on an RBI groundout from Aaron Miles and an RBI single from Carroll. Los Angeles added a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from James Loney, but Gaby Sanchez answered with an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead back to one.
The Marlins trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth and that spelled trouble. Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton was coming off back-to-back All-Star appearances. Through two hitters, he looked as tough as advertised.
Broxton struck out Greg Dobbs to start the inning, then induced a weak groundout off the bat of Florida catcher John Buck. That would be the final out he would record.
After Emilio Bonifacio drew a walk, a pinch-hit single from Hanley Ramírez brought the winning run to the plate. Broxton looked as though he has settled in as Scott Cousins rolled one to shortstop, but an error by Jamey Carroll allowed Bonifacio to score the tying run and Ramirez to advance to third.
Broxton then walked Chris Coghlan to load the bases, bringing Omar Infante to the plate. Infante took the first pitch for a ball before lining one into left field. Los Angeles’ Jerry Sands initially charged in, but was unable to recover as the ball sailed over his head for the walk-off hit. It was the third go-ahead hit for Florida that evening.
Brian Saches pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win for Florida.
The victory served as the Marlins’ second walk-off win of the season and Broxton’s first blown save of the season. It came on this day a decade ago.