The Fourth of July is a day where most Americans enjoy time with friends, family and watch fireworks. Historically, the day has not always been kind to the Florida/Miami Marlins.
In 1993, Matt Turner infamously balked in the winning run in a loss to the Atlanta Braves. In 2008, the Marlins squandered a nine-run lead at Coors Field in an 18-17 loss to the Colorado Rockies. In 2016, the Marlins let a six-run lead fall by the wayside in an 8-6 loss to the New York Mets.
On this day 10 years ago however, the fortunes were reversed. The Miami Marlins erased an early four-run deficit, tied the game in the ninth and ultimately went ahead for good in the 10th in a 7-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Marlins were down 5-1 as they came to bat in the seventh at Miller Park on July 4, 2012. Through six innings, Miami had not been able to figure out Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf. That began to change when Justin Ruggiano led off the inning with a home run.
Wolf was able to get Omar Infante to fly out before walking Austin Kearns and allowing a single to Gaby Sanchez. After Brett Hayes struck out, pinch hitter Logan Morrison came to the plate with two on.
On a 1-0 pitch from Wolf, Morrison belted one over the wall in straightaway center field. The deficit was gone, but the Brewers had an answer.
In the bottom of the inning, Aramis Ramírez’s RBI single with one out scored Nori Aoki and put the Brewers back in front, 6-5. In the top of the ninth, the Marlins were down to their last out against Milwaukee closer John Axford.
Axford needed just six pitches to get Infante and Kearns and was one strike away from ending the contest. On a 1-2 pitch, Sanchez lined one over the wall in right field to tie things up, 6-6.
After Wade LeBlanc got Aramis Ramírez to fly out with two on to end the bottom of the ninth, another Ramirez put the Marlins ahead for good in the top of the 10th.
Milwaukee’s Manny Parra recorded two quick outs to begin the frame before Donovan Solano laced a double on the first pitch of the next at-bat. Three pitches later, Hanley Ramirez singled through the left side to drive home Solano and give Miami its first lead since the second inning, 7-6.
The Brewers again put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, but Miami closer Heath Bell struck out Martin Maldonado before getting Taylor Green to ground out to end the contest.
Prior to Ruggiano’s homer in the seventh, all the scoring came in the second inning. Hayes singled in the first run in the top of the inning before Milwaukee pushed across five runs against Josh Johnson in the bottom half.
George Kottaras walked with the bases loaded to tie the game. Cesar Izturis and Aoki added RBI singles while Wolf and Ryan Braun added RBI groundouts in the inning.
It was Hanley Ramírez’s single in the 10th that put Miami ahead for good, but one might argue that Sanchez’s game-tying blast served as the biggest hit of the game. An All-Star in 2011, Sanchez’s clutch blast ended up coming in his final at-bat as a member of the Marlins as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates shortly after. It came on this day a decade ago.