An eventual National League MVP with the Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Yelich was a sight to see for the Miami Marlins over his first five seasons in Major League Baseball.
Yelich hit .290 for the Marlins and had at least 30 doubles in each of his final four seasons. On this day five years ago however, Yelich saved the day with his defense. In the top of the ninth inning, Yelich capped a 5-4 victory for Miami over the Chicago White Sox by throwing out the would-be tying run out at the plate.
Miami was trying to avoid the three-game sweep as it hosted the White Sox at Marlins Park on Aug. 14, 2016. The Marlins took a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning, but that advantage was in doubt.
Against Miami closer Fernando Rodney, the White Sox cut the lead in half on a one-out solo home run by Tim Anderson. Rodney allowed a single to Omar Narváez before striking out Justin Morneau and giving up another single to Adam Eaton. With two outs, Chicago had two on as Tyler Saladino came to the dish.
To add some extra speed, the White Sox sent Carlos Sánchez to pinch run at second base. On a 1-1 pitch from Rodney, Saladino lined a single to left. Yelich was able to field the ball on one hop and fired for home as Sanchez rounded third base.
Catcher Jeff Mathis was able to catch the throw on the fly and tag Sanchez in plenty of time for the out. Despite allowing four hits in the inning, Rodney picked up the save as Miami survived to avoid the sweep.
Chicago started fast as Eaton opened the game with a home run. Before the first inning was over, José Abreu added an RBI single to make it 2-0.
The Marlins took their first lead during a three-run fifth. After starting pitcher Tom Koehler helped himself with a game-tying two-run single, Ichiro Suzuki executed a squeeze play to score Adeiny Hechavarría.
An RBI single from Abreu drew Chicago even in the sixth, but Miami pushed two across in the seventh as Martín Prado and Marcell Ozuna each came through with RBI singles. Ozuna and Hechavarría each had two hits for Miami in the win.
At the plate, Yelich was 0-for-4 on the evening, but it was his throw to the plate that saved the day for the Marlins. It came on this day five years ago.