When it comes to naming the best hitter in Florida/Miami Marlins’ history, there is a strong argument to be made for Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera is still the club’s all-time leader in batting average at .313. He also had plenty of big moments, including one that took place on this day 15 years ago. At Dolphins Stadium on Aug. 3, 2006, Cabrera came through with a three-run double to lift the Florida Marlins past the New York Mets, 4-1.
The Marlins had been 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position as Cabrera stepped in to face Aaron Heilman in the bottom of the eighth with the bases full and two outs. Catcher Miguel Olivo started the inning with a single before walks to Hanley Ramírez and Mike Jacobs loaded the bases. If the Marlins were going to take the lead, it was up to Cabrera.
On the first pitch he saw from Heilman, the Florida third baseman hit a rocket down the third-base line. The ball rolled into the corner as all three runners came around to score as a tie became a three-run advantage for the Marlins.
Joe Borowski worked a perfect ninth to seal the victory and pick up the save. Starter Dontrelle Willis earned the win after allowing just an unearned run on seven hits in eight innings.
A solo home run by Jacobs in the sixth had accounted for all the offense for Florida prior to Cabrera’s double. The Mets drew even a half-inning later on an RBI groundout by Jose Reyes.
The victory clinched the series for Florida, who took two of three from the Mets. In six series played between the teams during the 2006 season, that was the lone series won by Florida. A late double by Cabrera on this day 15 years ago made all the difference.