MIAMI (AP)—Regis Philbin’s ceremonial first pitch bounced in front of the plate. The game ended 4 1/2 hours later with the same kind of throw by Cincinnati shortstop Paul Janish.
His error on a double-play relay sent home the winning run in the 14th inning, and the Florida Marlins retained the NL East lead by beating Cincinnati 3-2 Monday night.
With runners at first and second and none out, Jorge Cantu grounded to first baseman Joey Votto, who threw to second for a forceout. Janish’s relay bounced past pitcher Daniel Herrera, who was covering first, and Ronny Paulino scored without a play.
“It was my fault being late getting over there,” Herrera said. “It was a tough double play to turn. I should have just knocked it down instead of trying to make the play.”
Hanley Ramirez hit his third home run for the Marlins, who ended a three-game losing streak. The shortstop also made a leaping catch of Brandon Phillips’ line drive with two on to end the eighth and keep the score 2-all.
The Marlins, who have been in first place since opening day, lead Philadelphia by a half-game. Florida won despite leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, ninth and 12th innings.
“If you’re going to play a ballgame that long, you definitely want to make sure you do everything you can to win it,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said. “You don’t want to play 14 innings and come out on the other end of it.”
Paulino walked against Herrera (0-1) to start the 14th, and Ramirez singled. Then came the error by Janish.
“That was the toughest loss so far,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You hate to lose on a mistake and in extra innings.”
Janish entered in the 11th when Alex Gonzalez strained his left oblique. Gonzalez is to be examined in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Philbin, a Marlins fan, started the long night by bouncing the first pitch to Florida’s Cody Ross.
“I was disappointed in my pitch,” Philbin said jokingly. “I wanted to knock Ross down.”
Florida’s Josh Johnson and Cincinnati’s Aaron Harang then settled into a pitcher’s duel, and both left with the game tied at 2. Johnson went 7 1-3 innings, and Harang left for a pinch hitter after seven innings.
The Marlins extended a club-record streak of 17 consecutive games without a win by a starting pitcher. During that span the starters are 0-6.
Cincinnati has scored 15 runs in Harang’s six starts.
The loss ended the Reds’ streak of four consecutive road series won to start the season. The best they can do in Miami is 1-1.
“You just want it to be over, be over,” Badenhop said. “Finally it was.”
When Ramirez hit a solo homer with two out in the first, the ball was caught by a fan sitting in a section with only two other spectators. The crowd of 10,824 was the smallest for a Marlins home game since last May 20, and by the end only a couple thousand fans remained.
Ramirez has four homers in 20 career at-bats against Harang.
The Marlins had gone hitless in 21 consecutive at-bats with runners in scoring position before Jeremy Hermida hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth for a 2-0 lead.
The Reds tied it in the seventh, when Phillips, Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez hit consecutive singles to start the inning. Hernandez’s hit drove in Cincinnati’s first run, and another scored on a double play.
Marlins LHP Andrew Miller (oblique strain) threw a bullpen session and will make a rehabilitation start Wednesday for Class A Jupiter. If it goes well, he’ll likely make a start for Double-A Jacksonville next week. … Florida RHP Scott Proctor (elbow) also threw a bullpen session. … Gem of the night: 2B Phillips made a backhanded stop of a grounder and used his glove to shovel the ball to Gonzalez for a forceout in the third inning.