|Florida (77-72) «||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||x||8||9||1|
MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins are getting accustomed to come-from-behind wins. Granted, not all of them look quite like this.
Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham hit a go-ahead single during a seven-run rally in the eighth inning and the Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 8-7 Sunday.
The Marlins have rallied to win 40 times in 2008, but this was Florida's largest comeback of the season. Florida tagged four relievers and matched their biggest inning this year.
"It was looking like we were going to lose another one where not a whole lot happened," Willingham said. "But we had a big inning, which we have not had in a while. It was good to have a little offensive explosion right there."
The Nationals took a 6-1 lead into the eighth.
"Not pretty," manager Manny Acta said. "That's all you can say."
Florida has 192 homers this season, but not a single Florida run in the eighth came on a longball. Singles, a double and a little help from the Nationals were all the Marlins needed.
Jorge Cantu started the rally with a two-run double to it 6-3. Dan Uggla brought the Marlins closer with a two-run single.
Alfredo Amezaga's bunt single off Joel Hanrahan scored Uggla to tie the game at 6. Pinch-runner Jeremy Hermida, who had advanced to third on Hanrahan's throwing error, scored on Willingham's single off Steven Shell (2-2).
The Marlins added another run when Amezaga scored on an error on John Baker's grounder.
A double play ended the rally. It was ruled by that Willingham left third base too early while tagging up on Cantu's fly.
"I did not leave early," Willingham said. "I didn't think I left early at the time and I went and watched the replay and it confirmed that I did not leave early, so I think he missed the call."
Ryan Langerhans homered off reliever Doug Waechter in the eighth to give Washington a 6-1 lead. The three-run shot scored Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, who had each singled to open the inning.
Milledge scored two runs and drove in two.
Andrew Miller (6-9) got the win and Arthur Rhodes got his first save with the Marlins.
Washington starter Collin Balester didn't allow a hit for 5 2/3 innings. He gave up one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old struck out five and walked three.
Cantu broke up Balester's no-hit bid with a single to left.
"I didn't feel like I had my best stuff," Balester said. "I was just able to get outs when I was able to. If you would have told me I would throw a no-hitter through 5 2/3, I would have said, 'No way.' My fastball command wasn't there. My changeup was the only pitch I felt comfortable throwing. It was a weird day."
Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez allowed two earned runs and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three.
"I did a couple bullpens, working my fastball, because I don't have too much command over it," Sanchez said. "With my fastball, today I used it a lot. And that helped me, because every pitch I threw better."
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the second when Luke Montz hit an RBI single. It was the first major league hit for the catcher, who was called up to the big leagues after Jesus Flores sprained his left ankle in a collision at home plate on Sept. 2.
"I was still looking for that first hit," Montz said. "He tried to come fastball in and I just hung on it. I didn't try to do too much. It feels good I got a hit and an RBI on the same one."
|Players of the Game|
|Emilio Bonifacio, 2B||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.239|
|Alberto Gonzalez, SS||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.253|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||5||2||1||0||0||1||2||.286|
|Lastings Milledge, CF||4||2||3||2||0||1||0||.262|
|Ryan Langerhans, RF||3||1||1||3||1||1||2||.233|
|a- Elijah Dukes, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Kory Casto, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.213|
|Luke Montz, C||3||0||1||1||1||2||1||.083|
|Roger Bernadina, LF||3||1||0||0||1||0||3||.148|
|Collin Balester, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.154|
|Michael Hinckley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Anderson Hernandez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.340|
|Saul Rivera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Charlie Manning, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Steven Shell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joel Hanrahan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Langerhans in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Hinckley in the 8th|
|2B - Lastings Milledge (22, Gregg), Kory Casto (8, Waechter)|
|HR - Ryan Langerhans (3, Waechter)|
|SH - Collin Balester 2 (8)|
|RBI - Lastings Milledge 2 (57), Ryan Langerhans 3 (12), Luke Montz (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Lastings Milledge (19), Luke Montz (1)|
|SB - Lastings Milledge 2 (22, 2nd base off Sanchez/Baker, 2nd base off Sanchez/Baker)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Casto-Gonzalez-Balester, Langerhans|
|E - Kory Casto (1, Misplayed grounder), Joel Hanrahan (2, Throwing)|
|Michael Hinckley (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Steven Shell (H,6; L,2-2)||0.1||2||2||2||0||0||0||2.18|
|Joel Hanrahan (BS,4)||0.2||2||1||0||1||0||0||3.98|
|WP - Steven Shell (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Collin Balester 98-55, Michael Hinckley 8-5, Saul Rivera 14-6, Charlie Manning 5-1, Steven Shell 14-8, Joel Hanrahan 18-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin Balester 3-11, Joel Hanrahan 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Collin Balester 26, Michael Hinckley 1, Saul Rivera 3, Charlie Manning 1, Steven Shell 3, Joel Hanrahan 5|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||3||1||0||0||2||1||0||.293|
|John Baker, C||4||1||0||0||1||2||0||.282|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B||5||1||2||2||0||0||3||.274|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.243|
|a- Paul Lo Duca, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.241|
|Brett Carroll, PR-LF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.059|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||2||1||2||2||2||0||0||.263|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||4||.266|
|Jeremy Hermida, PR-RF||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.245|
|Cody Ross, RF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.260|
|Alfredo Amezaga, CF-3B||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.258|
|Anibal Sanchez, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|b- Dallas McPherson, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|c- Wes Helms, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.244|
|Doug Waechter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Andrew Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.067|
|d- Josh Willingham, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.254|
|Joe Nelson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kevin Gregg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Jacobs in the 8th|
|b-announced for Sanchez in the 7th|
|c-struck out for McPherson in the 7th|
|d-singled for Miller in the 8th|
|2B - Jorge Cantu (36, Rivera), Cody Ross (27, Balester)|
|3B - Alfredo Amezaga (4, Balester)|
|RBI - Jorge Cantu 2 (83), Dan Uggla 2 (86), Alfredo Amezaga 2 (24), Josh Willingham (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alfredo Amezaga (13)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Mike Jacobs (10, Throwing)|
|Andrew Miller (W,6-9)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||5.62|
|Joe Nelson (H,11)||0.2||0||1||1||1||0||0||1.89|
|Arthur Rhodes (S,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.89|
|HBP - Milledge (by Anibal Sanchez)|
|WP - Anibal Sanchez (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 100-64, Doug Waechter 8-6, Andrew Miller 12-9, Joe Nelson 12-5, Kevin Gregg 6-6, Arthur Rhodes 5-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 8-6, Andrew Miller 1-0, Joe Nelson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 29, Doug Waechter 4, Andrew Miller 3, Joe Nelson 3, Kevin Gregg 1, Arthur Rhodes 1|
|Attendance - 12024|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 90|
|Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Greg Gibson|