Third baseman Terry Pendleton was a world champion with the St. Louis Cardinals and an MVP with the Atlanta Braves, but he was also an important piece to the Florida Marlins’ lineup early in the franchise’s history.
During Pendleton’s 1992 All-Star season in Atlanta, he hit his first two career walk-off home runs. He did that just once for the remainder of his career. It came as a member of the Marlins on this day 25 years ago.
Through nine innings at Joe Robbie Stadium on April 6, 1996 neither the Marlins nor San Francisco Giants had managed a run. Pendleton changed that in the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off home run to give Florida a 1-0 victory.
For eight innings, Florida starter Kevin Brown was outstanding. Brown yielded seven hits and no walks or runs. The San Francisco starter, however, was even better.
With his brother Al watching from the Florida dugout, Mark Leiter gave up just four hits and one walk in nine shutout innings while walking seven for San Francisco.
Marlins reliever Robb Nen had struck out four batters in two perfect innings to get his team to the bottom of the 10th unscathed.
To open the 10th, San Francisco went to reliever Mark Dewey. He threw just one pitch. To that point, Pendleton had one of Florida’s four hits. His second ended it as he took Dewey’s pitch over the left field wall for a home run as the Marlins improved to 2-3.
In addition to Pendleton, Florida catcher Charles Johnson and Giants infielder Shawon Dunston each had two hits. Johnson’s second-inning double was the only other extra base hit.
In nearly two seasons and nearly 244 career games with the Marlins, Pendleton hit 21 home runs. His only walk-off however, came on this day a quarter-century ago.