MIAMI -- It's not just the Giancarlo Stanton (aka "Cruz") show that is leading the charge for the Marlins. They are getting contributions throughout their lineup, and on Saturday night it was Miguel Rojas' (aka "Miggy Ro") turn during Players Weekend.Rojas lifted a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning as
MIAMI -- It's not just the Giancarlo Stanton (aka "Cruz") show that is leading the charge for the Marlins. They are getting contributions throughout their lineup, and on Saturday night it was Miguel Rojas' (aka "Miggy Ro") turn during Players Weekend.
Rojas lifted a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning as the Marlins celebrated a 2-1 walk-off win over the Padres at Marlins Park.
Derek Dietrich (aka "Dietz") started the rally with a leadoff double off Jose Torres (aka "Torry"). After he was bunted to third, the Padres went with five infielders and two outfielders. Rojas lifted a fly ball to right field, scoring Dietrich, for his first career walk-off RBI.
"Great win for us after battling for 11 innings," Rojas said. "Dietrich putting a great at-bat against a lefty, always fighting. This team is showing some character. It's nothing about me or individuals right now, it's about trying to make the playoffs."
With the Rockies winning on Saturday, the Marlins remain 4 1/2 games out in the chase for the second National League Wild Card spot.
"They're going to start thinking about us because we're coming for them," Rojas said. "We're coming for Arizona and for Colorado. We have a six-game series over there [Sept. 22-27]. Those are great places to play. It's going to be exciting. I think with the atmosphere here at Marlins Park, today and [Friday], it was great."
Both starters were effective, each allowing just one run in six innings. Dinelson Lamet (aka "El Flaco") yielded four hits, with the most impactful being Marcell Ozuna's (aka "The Big Bear") home run to lead off the fourth. Miami's Odrisamer Despaigne (aka "Mili-Pino") gave up three hits with two walks and one strikeout. Pitching remained the story of the night, with each bullpen matching zeros until the 11th.
"I'm proud of him. He continues to take steps forward," Padres manager Andy Green said of Lamet. "I thought he threw the ball really well."
Ozuna's tater in the fourth marked his sixth game-tying homer of the season. That's second in the NL, behind Stanton's seven.
"We've talked about winning series, but at this point, you have to get greedy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think at this point, you can't be happy. … When you have a [chance to] sweep, you want to try to do it."
The Padres used a double steal to swipe a run in the second inning and take the early lead. With Cory Spangenberg (aka "Spangy") on third and Jabari Blash (aka "Big Daddy") on first with Lamet at the plate with two outs, both runners took off. J.T. Realmuto threw high to second, and the ball sailed into center field. It was scored a double steal, with Spangenberg coming home on the play.
"It was a lucky break for us more than anything else," Green said. "We took a chance and were able to steal a run right there. That was really the only thing that kept us in the game through extra innings. We just couldn't put another run on the board."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Caught looking at a Steckasaurus: The Padres had the go-ahead runner on second with two outs when Drew Steckenrider (aka "Steckasaurus") relieved lefty Jarlin Garcia (aka "Jarlin The Marlin") in the ninth inning. The right-handed Steckenrider faced Blash, capping a full-count showdown by catching San Diego's right fielder looking at a slider.
"Our guys did a nice job out of the 'pen, kept us right there, kept giving us chances," Mattingly said. More >
Handed a difficult jam: All-Star reliever Brad Hand (aka "Brotato") entered with runners on the corners and no outs in the seventh after Ichiro Suzuki (aka "Ichi") lined a single to left. Hand, formerly with the Marlins, got out of it unscathed. Dee Gordon (aka "Varis Strange") grounded into a fielder's choice before Stanton was intentionally walked. Hand struck out Christian Yelich (aka "Yeli"), and the threat was thwarted when Ozuna flied out to right.
"There's probably like two or three pitchers in the game that can come in and work their way out of that part of a lineup that's that dynamic," Green said. "You could tell he was juiced up in that situation." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ichiro's single in the seventh inning was his 22nd pinch-hit hit of the season, establishing a Marlins season record. Ross Gload knocked 21 in 2009.
"Everybody is playing for their teammates. That's something that makes me happy because this is a club that was put together to do this, be in the race for the playoffs. We're doing this after a terrible month of May and a bunch of injuries." -- Rojas, on the state of the Marlins
The Marlins got a quick overturn on Manuel Margot's (aka "Yoandry") grounder to short in the third inning. Margot grounded to Rojas in the hole, with the initial call at first safe. After a review of 37 seconds, the ruling was overturned.
Padres:Clayton Richard (6-12, 4.89 ERA) takes the ball in the series finale at 10:10 a.m. ET on Sunday at Marlins Park. The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.36 ERA in four August starts.
Marlins: Miami closes out its three-game series and homestand at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday with Dan Straily, aka Rojo, (8-8, 3.83 ERA) on the mound. In seven day games, the right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.46 ERA.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Patrick Panik is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Padres on Saturday.