There is no one swing in baseball that can do as much damage as a home run with the bases loaded. These blasts are referred to as grand slams.
Throughout their history, the Florida/Miami Marlins have had their fair share of these bombs. Only once however, have the Marlins hit two grand slams in one game. It came on this day 25 years ago in a 12-9 win over the San Diego Padres.
The Florida Marlins and Padres opened a three-game set at Pro Player Stadium on April 28, 1997. The contest lasted nearly four hours. For Florida, two swings of the bat that evening plated eight combined runs.
The first of those came in the bottom of the first as the Marlins raced to a 4-0 lead. San Diego starting pitcher Tim Worrell struggled to find the strike zone as he issued three straight walks to Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla. His very next pitch was lifted over the left field wall by Moises Alou for a grand slam.
Despite falling behind early, the Padres stormed back. Greg Vaughn and Chris Gomez each homered in the second to cut the deficit to 4-3. In the fourth inning, San Diego plated three more runs to take a 6-4 lead.
Gomez’s sacrifice fly gave the Padres their first lead in the fourth. In the sixth, his RBI double pushed the lead to 7-4. The Marlins however, were in for a big bottom of the frame, which included another grand slam.
Gregg Zaun walked to start the bottom of the sixth before Kurt Abbott and Luis Castillo delivered singles to load the bases. San Diego’s Tim Scott was able to strike out Renteria, but the results would be drastically different against Sheffield (a former Padre).
With the count full, Scott left a fastball over the plate and Sheffield didn’t miss it. His grand slam over the left-field wall put the Marlins ahead for good, 8-7. Florida however, wasn’t done.
Before the frame was over, Alou singled home another run before coming around to score on a Jeff Conine groundout to push the lead to 10-7.
A fielding error by Cliff Floyd allowed the Padres to get two runs back in the seventh, but Jay Powell, Dennis Cook and Robb Nen were able to cool down the San Diego bats for the Florida bullpen. The Marlins added two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to Zaun and an RBI groundout from pinch hitter John Wehner.
The Marlins were one of just four teams to hit two grand slams in the same game during the 1997 season. This remains the only time in franchise history that they accomplished the feat. They did so on this day a quarter-century ago.