Ricky Nolasco remained unbeaten Monday night with a little help from late-inning offense.
Through six innings, Nolasco had allowed only one run, and had gotten two solo home runs from Chris Coghlan. But in the seventh, he allowed two quick base runners who both advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Webb entered the game, replacing Nolasco, and allowed both the runners to score on a groundout and a hit.
But the Marlins weren’t done yet, even after allowing another run in the eighth. Down by two, Gaby Sanchez singled home a run. With runners on first and second, Mike Stanton crushed a fly ball to center; Omar Infanté tried to tag and advance to third, but was thrown out by Matt Kemp.
It was 4-3 going into the last of the ninth, and Florida would be facing Jonathan Broxton. After Gregg Dobbs and John Buck were both retired, Emilio Bonifacio worked the count full before walking, giving the Fightin’ Fish life. The slumping Hanley Ramirez then entered the game to pinch-hit, and while Bonifacio was running, laced a single into right. With runners on the corners, Scott Cousins bounced a dribbler that Jamey Carroll ran right past allowing the tying run to score. Hanley advanced to third on the error as Omar Infante came to the plate.
Infante watched a first pitch slider for a ball, and jumped on the following fastball. He ripped a line drive into left field on which Jerry Sands took a few steps in, which was one too many. The ball whizzed right over his outstretched glove, bouncing to the wall. Hanley scored and the Marlins won.
In their second walk-off victory of the year, Brian Sanches got his third win. It was their ninth comeback victory of the year, giving them a mark of 14-7, now just a half game back of Philadelphia who lost to Arizona last night.
So are they legit? That’s what all the analysts are asking. With practically the same record as the Phillies, at the top of the NL East, does it look like it? I don’t think anyone is asking if the Phillies are legit, so don’t ask about the Marlins. It will be a good fight all year to see who can win this division, especially if the Marlins are tailgating them the whole season.