Marlins 6, Padres 4
Ramirez, the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, had tweaked his left hamstring legging out a double Monday night. He left that game and was one the bench Tuesday night.
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the seventh, Gonzalez called on his shortstop to pinch-hit with a runner on and one out. Ramirez delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer that highlighted a four-run seventh inning and the Florida Marlins rallied for a 6-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Justin Miller (3-0), who retired one batter in the sixth inning, got the victory. Kevin Gregg, who blew his first save Sunday against Atlanta in his previous outing, struck out the side in the ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.
Padres starter Greg Maddux (7-5) came into the game with 19 wins against the Marlins, the most of any team in his 340 career victories. He allowed six runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out five with no walks.
“I told you guys (media) he was available,” Gonzalez said of Ramirez. “We rather see him play nine innings, but that was good. He was able to come out and put a good swing on Maddux.”
Ramirez came on to pinch-hit for Miller with Miguel Olivo on first base and one out. The Padres had just taken a 4-2 lead on Khalil Greene’s two-run homer off starter Scott Olsen in the bottom of the sixth.
Ramirez fell behind 0-2 before Maddux hung a curveball that Ramirez hit 363 feet into the left-field bleachers tying the game at 4-4. The home run was Ramirez’s 12th of the season and first pinch-hit home run. It was the Marlins’ fifth pinch-hit homer of the season.
“He (Gonzalez) told me before the game that I might be used,” Ramirez said. “He threw me a couple of nasty pitches and got me 0-and-2, so I just wanted to try to put the ball in play. So I got lucky.”
“I felt fine,” Maddux said. “I got ahead of Ramirez and wasn’t able to finish it. I made a mistake. If there’s any way for a starter to blow a save that was it.”
“Going into the seventh, he (Maddux) had 71 pitches and had put up zeros from the third through the sixth,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
Right-hander Cla Meredith pitched to one batter, intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera to load the bases. Left-hander Royce Ring came in and struck out Mike Jacobs looking on a 3-and-2 pitch with the bases loaded for the second out.
“Bringing in Meredith was one way to allow Royce (Ring) enough time to get loose,” Black said. I felt I hadn’t given him enough time to get ready.”
With the bases loaded and two outs, Ring threw a wild pitch on his second offering to Josh Willingham allowing Amezaga to score the go-ahead run. Willingham was intentionally walked and Ring walked Jeremy Hermida on four pitches to force in Uggla with the fourth run of the inning.
Amezaga, subbing for Ramirez at shortstop, singled to center to lead off the game. He moved to third when Uggla doubled into the right-field corner. Cabrera hit a hard grounder to short as Amezaga scored.
Olsen drove in the second run in the second when he beat out an infield grounder on a potential inning-ending double play.
The Padres tied the game in the second on Brian Giles’ bases-loaded single with two outs.
Marlins relievers retired the last 10 batters, six on strikeouts.
Ramirez, who has appeared in 81 of the Marlins’ 84 games, said he was hopeful of being back in the starting lineup on Wednesday while his manager said, “we’ll see how things are tomorrow.”
Dontrelle Willis left the Marlins because of “family issues”, but according to Gonzalez is expected back by the end of the week. He is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Dodgers in LA. … Uggla added to his NL lead for most extra-base hits (51) with two doubles. They were his 31st and 32nd of the season surpassing the Marlins’ record for most doubles before the All-Star Break, established by Mike Lowell (31) in 2002 … Adrian Gonzalez’s first-inning single snapped an 0-for-17 skid going back to June 27… Greene has hit seven of his 14 home runs in his past 14 games and has 14 RBIs during that span … Brian Giles has reached base in 12 of 20 plate appearances since coming off the DL on June 27… LHP Sean Thompson, who was designated for assignment by the Padres on June 29, was claimed off waivers Tuesday by Kansas City.