The 2012 season was the first where the Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins and the home field transitioned from Sun Life Stadium to Marlins Park. On this day 10 years ago, the home team got its first win at Marlins Park and in dramatic fashion.
Gaby Sanchez’s RBI double in the 11th inning was the difference. His walk-off hit lifted the Marlins to a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros.
For much of the night on April 13, 2012, the Marlins appeared to be in good shape. Miami led 4-1 after three innings and 4-2 entering the eighth, but Houston wouldn’t go quietly.
Facing reliever Edward Mujica, Jed Lowrie singled to lead off the inning. On the very next pitch, J.D. Martinez blasted one over the left field wall for the game-tying two-run home run. Mujica would get out of the inning without further damage.
In the top of the ninth, closer Heath Bell was able to work out of a bases-loaded jam for Miami. Neither team would tally another hit until the 11th.
After Randy Choate and Ryan Webb worked perfect frames for the Marlins, Miami came to bat in the bottom of the 11th against Brandon Lyon. Chris Coghlan got things started with an infield single.
Up came Sanchez.
Down in the count 0-2, Sanchez got a high fastball that he could handle. Sanchez belted it off the left field wall. Coghlan easily scored from first, giving the Marlins their first win in their new ballpark.
Houston briefly led early on as Jed Lowrie got the scoring started with an RBI single in the top of the first. In the bottom half of the inning, Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double was followed by an RBI single from Omar Infante.
After a wild pitch allowed Miami starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco to score in the second, Infante scored on a throwing error in the third. Houston drew to within two runs on an RBI single from Jason Castro in the top of the fourth.
Lowrie, Martinez and Castro each had two hits for a Houston team that finished with just seven in the loss. Sanchez had three hits for the Marlins while Infante and Coghlan each added two.
The Marlins would finish just 69-93 as a team and 38-43 at home in 2012.