Marlins 2, Dodgers 1, 11 innings
MIAMI (AP)—Once again the Florida Marlins poured out of the dugout shouting, hugging and jumping on each other. They’ve become good at staging celebrations because they’ve had a lot of practice.
Third-string catcher Ramon Castro beat the Dodgers with a homer in the 13th inning Tuesday. NL wild-card leader Florida has won 15 times in its final at-bat, including five since the All-Star break.
“This is a good feeling here, because you feel like you’re going to win the game,” Mordecai said. “How? Wait and see. But we do win games a lot of different ways.”
Mordecai’s two-out homer was his second of the year—and both have been game-winners.
He pinch-ran for Mike Lowell on July 23, then homered in the 12th inning to beat Atlanta. This time he pinch-ran for Lowell in the ninth, then found himself in the middle of another mob scene after hitting a 2-2 pitch over the scoreboard off Victor Alvarez (0-1) in the 11th.
“Everybody went plowing onto the field and hugging each other,” Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre said. “It was like a College World Series-type atmosphere. I don’t think I’ll calm down tonight. I might sleep in my uniform.”
The hit hiked Mordecai’s average to .203. He has 59 at-bats in 49 games.
“When you get in the game, you want to push your club over the top any way you can,” he said.
The Marlins moved atop the wild-card standings for the first time this season Tuesday. They remained one-half game ahead of Philadelphia, which beat Milwaukee 11-4.
“I think it’s going to come down to the last month,” said Pierre, who drove in Florida’s first run. “It makes it real fun.”
The Dodgers, who are last in the NL in runs, hit into four double plays and stranded six runners in scoring position, including two in the ninth when Dave Roberts struck out. They fell to 4-10 in extra-inning games.
“I guess the best choice of words would be gut-wrenching,” manager Jim Tracy said.
Los Angeles dropped 4 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
“I feel like we’re still playing good,” left fielder Jeromy Burnitz said. “We’ve been involved in some really good games the past couple of nights, and we’ve had a couple of tough losses.”
Nate Bump (4-0) pitched a hitless 11th to make up for a blown save earlier by the Marlins’ bullpen.
Florida’s Carl Pavano threw seven scoreless innings and left leading 1-0, but the Dodgers tied the game in the ninth against Ugueth Urbina. It was their first run after 16 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings, including 8 1-3 against the Florida bullpen.
Burnitz singled off Urbina with one out, then scored when pinch-hitter Paul Lo Duca doubled. Urbina, who led the American League with 26 saves when he was acquired by the Marlins on July 11, was bidding for his first NL save of the season.
Florida took a 1-0 lead on Pierre’s two-out single in the third, and Pavano made it hold up through seven innings. He allowed five hits and four walks, hitting two batters.
The Dodgers’ Wilson Alvarez allowed one run and struck out eight in six innings. He was pressed into duty on three day’s rest when scheduled starter Andy Ashby came down with an apparent case of the flu Wednesday morning.
Alvarez retired the first seven batters, four on strikeouts, before Alex Gonzalez doubled. Gonzalez scored on Pierre’s single.
Dodgers PH Rickey Henderson walked in the ninth and stole second. It was his first stolen base of the season and the 1,404th of his career, extending his major league record. … Dodgers RHP Guillermo Mota pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings and has retired 23 consecutive hitters in his past five outings. … Florida’s season-high four double plays included an odd one in the third. Alvarez was running on the pitch when Cabrera hit a liner that glanced off Pavano to shortstop Gonzalez, who caught it on the fly. Gonzalez then trotted past Alvarez to first to double up the runner. … RF Shawn Green singled in the sixth to improve to 8-for-15 (.533) against Pavano. … Roberts is batting .182 (10-for-55) with runners in scoring position. … The Marlins are 10-5 in Pavano’s home starts.