Mention the words Edgar Rentería and walk-off together and there is one image that comes to mind for baseball fans in South Florida.
Renteria’s first walk-off hit, however, came on this day 25 years ago. Renteria came through with a walk-off single to lead the Florida Marlins past the Cincinnati Reds, 6-5.
The Marlins had rallied from a three-run deficit as the contest headed to the bottom of the ninth at Joe Robbie Stadium on Aug. 25, 1996.
Florida responded with a ground-rule double from Jesús Tavarez and a walk to Luis Castillo. With two on and two out, Renteria came to the plate.
After taking the first pitch for a ball, Renteria pulled Smith’s offering through the left side of the infield. Tavarez scored standing up to give the Marlins the walk-off victory.
The Marlins plated two runs in the first as Luis Castillo scored on a wild pitch before Devon White came through with an RBI single. Cincinnati took its first lead in the third on a grand slam by Willie Greene off Florida starter Kurt Miller. The Reds added a run in the fifth on Bret Boone’s RBI single.
Down 5-2, the Marlins opened the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs from Greg Colbrunn and Jeff Conine off Cincinnati starter Mike Remlinger. Rentería scored the tying run on a Hector Carrasco wild pitch in the eighth.
In three years with the Marlins, Rentería came through with some pretty big walk-off hits with the most memorable securing victory in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. The very first one came on this day a quarter-century ago.