MIAMI (AP)—Trailing by a run in the eighth inning, the Florida Marlins summoned their secret weapon: the long ball.
“We kind of stole it from them, I guess,” Willingham said.
Built on pitching and playing in a pitcher’s park, the Marlins hardly have a reputation as a big-swinging team. But they began the weekend leading the majors in runs and third in homers.
Seven Marlins are on pace to hit at least 18 home runs.
“It’s throughout the lineup,” Willingham said. “That’s what we need to do to be successful as a team.”
The back-to-back homers—the first this season by Florida—came off Scott Linebrink (1-1), who entered the game with a 4-3 lead. Willingham hit his fifth homer on Linebrink’s first pitch.
“You don’t usually get ambushed like that with the first pitch of the inning,” Linebrink said. “It was a fastball away, and I threw it right where I wanted to.”
The tie score brought a roar from the crowd of 24,691. There was excitement in the Marlins’ dugout, too.
“Everybody was looking for that spark, and Hammer was able to deliver it,” Borchard said.
The cheers had barely subsided when Borchard hit a 1-2 slider for his fourth homer to put the Marlins ahead.
“In that situation, you really try to calm yourself down and get a pitch to hit,” Borchard said.
San Diego’s Greg Maddux pitched six innings and departed for a pinch hitter leading 4-3, but was denied his 336th career victory. He gave up sharp singles to the Marlins’ first three batters and allowed two runs in the first.
“It would be better to have better first innings,” Maddux said. “But give them credit. They didn’t miss any mistakes tonight. They might have taken one or two, but when they swung, they hit it pretty good.”
Florida’s Dontrelle Willis failed in his bid to become the National League’s first six-game winner. He took a one-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the sixth, but the Padres rallied with four runs in the inning. Mike Cameron’s bases-loaded triple put San Diego ahead.
Willis gave up four runs in six innings, hiking his ERA to 5.44. He was in the clubhouse lifting weights when his team rallied in the eighth.
“Awesome,” he said. “It’s bigger than the home runs. It’s showing poise, which is tough to get from a young team. I’m proud of the way we came back.”
Florida’s Hanley Ramirez went 4-for-5 to tie a career high for hits. His average rose to .350.
Ramirez made it 3-0 in the fifth when he singled, stole second, took third on a flyout and came home on Mike Jacobs’ single.
Marlins OF Eric Reed was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque after the game. … Announced attendance included 635 dogs admitted to the upper deck as part of a promotion. … The Padres fell to 30-31 in Miami. … Video highlight: Willis picked up a slow roller barehanded in the first inning and fell face-first to the grass as he tossed the ball underhand to first to retire Brian Giles. … Willis and his teammates paused to look skyward in the fourth inning when four fighter jets flew over the stadium. An air show is scheduled this weekend in nearby Fort Lauderdale. … Cabrera had two hits and improved his average against Maddux to .438 (7-for-16).