MIAMI (AP)—It’s a good thing Josh Willingham was at the plate instead of calling the shots in the dugout for the Marlins on Sunday.
Willingham had a career-best five hits, including a game-ending single in the 10th inning—in what he thought was a bunt situation—that gave Florida a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Miguel Olivo tied the game with a leadoff homer against Braves closer Bob Wickman in the bottom of the ninth. Then Willingham lined Rafael Soriano’s 1-0 pitch down the left-field line to score Brett Carroll from second.
“I didn’t get the bunt sign,” Willingham said, “so I just cleared my head and tried to get a good pitch. I got in a good hitter’s count where I was pretty sure a fastball was coming.”
Willingham’s five hits raised his average from .259 to .272.
“I needed a month to get five hits when I played,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez joked.
Jeremy Hermida hit a long homer and drove in three runs for Florida, which avoided a three-game sweep.
Olivo also homered off Wickman in Atlanta’s 6-5 win on Saturday night.
“I haven’t had a guy rough me up all year like he has,” Wickman said. “I just haven’t been able to bury my slider. Two sliders in a row.”
Lee Gardner (2-2) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Renteria’s two-run single off Armando Benitez in the eighth pulled Atlanta to 4-3. Gregg walked Chipper Jones, but Andruw Jones grounded into a double play. Jeff Francoeur flied out, stranding Renteria at third.
With two outs and none on in the ninth, Gregg walked Scott Thorman. Pinch-runner Willie Harris moved to second on a wild pitch before pinch-hitter Brian McCann was intentionally walked. Another wild pitch advanced both runners, and Escobar lined the 10th pitch he saw to right for a two-run single.
Pinch-runner Pete Orr slid home with the go-ahead run, beating the throw from Hermida. It was Gregg’s first blown save in 16 chances.
“The first wild pitch was a fastball that slipped, and the other was a split that bounced,” Gregg said. “Those things happen. You just have to move on.”
Hermida’s two-run shot highlighted Florida’s three-run fourth, which followed an 89-minute rain delay. Willingham singled in Mike Jacobs before Hermida sent an 0-2 pitch 442 feet to the right-center seats.
Neither starter returned following the rain delay in the middle of the fourth.
Dontrelle Willis gave up two hits, a walk and struck out one in four shutout innings. He has lost his past four decisions.
Atlanta’s Buddy Carlyle allowed one hit in three scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked none.
Andruw Jones opened the seventh with a homer to left off reliever Matt Lindstrom, his 13th of the season.
Hermida’s run-scoring single in the sixth off Wil Ledezma gave Florida a 4-1 lead. Ledezma had replaced Oscar Villareal.
Following the game, both teams flew to the West Coast for road trips that will lead up to the All-Star break. The Braves play at Los Angeles and San Diego; the Marlins visit the Padres and Dodgers. … Hanley Ramirez’s stolen base in the seventh made him the fifth Marlins player to steal at least 25 bases in consecutive seasons. He joined Chuck Carr, Renteria, Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre. … Florida optioned Carroll to Triple-A Albuquerque. The team was expected to add a pitcher to the roster Monday. … The extra-inning game was Atlanta’s second of the year and first since April 29 against Colorado.