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10-year Marliniversary: Infante does in former team with walk-off homer

Infante’s solo shot lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the Braves.

Atlanta Braves v Florida Marlins Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

Infielder Omar Infante enjoyed a solid 15-year career in Major League Baseball. Infante was regarded as a line-drive hitter and hit .271 for his career.

Over the course of 15 seasons, Infante lifted 82 home runs, but only one walk-off. That came as a member of the Florida Marlins on this day 10 years and against his former team.

Infante had been an All-Star for the Atlanta Braves in 2010, but was traded to the Marlins in an offseason deal that send Florida’s all-time home run leader at the time, Dan Uggla, to Atlanta. On Sept. 19, 2011, Infante delivered the shot that lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the Braves.

The Marlins were on the short end of a 5-4 score as the contest went to the bottom of the ninth in the first game of a three-game series. Entering the game for Atlanta was one of the game’s best closers in Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel was an All-Star for the first time and finished the 2011 season with 127 strikeouts in just 77 innings. It looked like it was going to be an easy night for Kimbrel as he retired the first two batters before getting ahead of Emilio Bonifacio, 0-2.

With the Marlins down to their last strike, the speedy Bonifacio was able to leg out a grounder to third for an infield single. That brought Infante to the plate.

Infante had homered just five times on the year, but after taking the first pitch for a ball, he turned on a Kimbrel heater. Seemingly as quickly as it had come, the 96-mile-per-hour pitch went well over the “Teal Tower” in left field for a walk-off two-run home run.

The final: Marlins 6, Braves 5.

Through six innings, the Marlins seemed in control. Giancarlo (then Mike) Stanton hit solo home runs in the first and third innings to give Florida a 2-0 lead. After Jason Heyward homered off Florida starter Ricky Nolasco to lead off the sixth inning, Logan Morrison answered with a two-run shot in the bottom half to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead.

Atlanta however, broke through with four runs in the seventh. Following a solo home run from Uggla to lead off the inning, the Braves scored three runs with two outs. Michael Bourn’s RBI infield single off Mike Dunn—who was also acquired in the Uggla deal—cut the lead to one before a bases-loaded walk to Martín Prado tied the game.

With the contest tied 4-4 and the bases loaded, Infante booted a ground ball off the bat of Chipper Jones that allowed Atlanta to take a 5-4 lead. Marlins’ reliever Clay Hensley retired all six batters he faced to keep the deficit at one and eventually picked up the win.

Ultimately, Infante would atone for the error with his first and only career walk-off home run. It came on this day a decade ago.