Marlins walk off behind Baker to top Dodgers
RBI double in the ninth wins game after Fernandez's sharp outing
MIAMI -- On a team still making its share of youthful mistakes, veteran Jeff Baker provided the elusive hit that enabled the Marlins to celebrate a 5-4 walk-off win over the Dodgers on Sunday at Marlins Park.
After Miami surrendered the lead in the top of the ninth, Baker lifted the game-winning, two-out RBI double off the wall in right field off reliever Jamey Wright, sending the Marlins into a wild celebration.
"Our team is resilient," Baker said. "Guys battle. Guys come out of it, and come back in. We were up, we were down today, and we ended up walking off with a big series win."
The walk-off was Miami's second of the season, with the other coming on April 18 when Giancarlo Stanton belted a ninth-inning grand slam.
Stanton again was a hero on Sunday, connecting on two home runs, driving in three runs.
"The thing is you've got enough veteran guys in here who have been in the battles," Baker said. "They go out there and grind and compete. The great thing is our young players are really, really talented."
On Saturday night, the Marlins squandered numerous late-inning chances, and lost 9-7 in 11 innings. Instead of getting down, Miami rallied on Sunday to improve to 14-5 at Marlins Park.
"We had a tough loss last night," manager Mike Redmond said. "The beauty of this team is what we've talked about, and that's turning the page.
"I don't know if there is a recipe to play in this ballpark, but there is a comfort level. It has taken a couple of years to kind of settle into this ballpark. I love our at-bats, our approach. We have so much confidence in this ballpark with our fans. Today, you could feel the energy."
Redmond and the players spoke about the environment in the series finale. A big crowd provided a boost and both teams kept competing until Baker's double fell to the ground in deep right field.
Baker delivered on Sunday what the team couldn't manufacture on Saturday, a two-out hit with the game on the line.
Even the decisive hit came with high drama.
Baker's drive sent Yasiel Puig to the wall in deep right field. The Dodgers right fielder crashed into the wall attempting to make the catch, and the ball fell. It was scored an RBI double, as Adeiny Hechavarria scored the winning run.
Hechavarria led off the inning with a single, and he moved to second on Donovan Solano's sacrifice bunt.
Until the ninth inning, the Marlins' offense was highlighted by three home runs, with Christian Yelich also adding a solo shot.
Ahead 4-3 in the ninth, A.J. Ramos got the chance to close because Steve Cishek had worked three straight games.
Ramos got into trouble by issuing a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Chone Figgins. He scored on Andre Ethier's double to right on a play in which Stanton made a stumbling dive attempt. Ramos was boosted in the inning by an instant replay overturn that led to the second out. Puig was intentionally walked, and Hanley Ramirez slapped a grounder up the middle that was knocked down at short by Hechavarria, who flipped to Baker at second.
Second-base umpire Dale Scott ruled Puig safe, and the Marlins challenged. After a review of one minute and 46 seconds, the play was overturned. The inning ended when Adrian Gonzalez grounded to second.
Hechavarria's diving play may have been a game-saver.
"He's one of the best I've played with at shortstop," Baker said. "He makes some unbelievable plays at clutch moments and clutch times. That saved the game for us."
Before the late-inning heroics by Baker and Hechavarria, Jose Fernandez was in line to win heading into the ninth inning.
Fernandez allowed three runs, with two earned, in seven innings. He struck out 10 and ran his pitch count up to a career-high 114. The 21-year-old had never thrown more than 109, which he did twice previously.
"I gave it everything I have," Fernandez said. "Everybody knows the Dodgers are one of the best teams in the league. That's why they get paid the way they get paid. We're just trying to go out there and do our best. I was trying to give my chance to win."
Four walks also hurt Fernandez, because two of them ended up scoring.
"We made him throw pitches in the third, but the next two innings for him were clean," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We couldn't keep him on the ropes. That's what happens with this kind of guy. They bear down and make you swing the bats. Facing that kind of guy, you just want your guy to keep you in the game and that's what happened today."
Stephen Fife, called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to make the start, gave the Dodgers' six-plus innings, allowing four runs, which all came on home runs.
The Marlins improve to 16-15 on the season, with the Mets coming to Miami for the first of three games on Monday.
"It's impressive. I'm excited," Fernandez said. "We're playing baseball. Even yesterday, we lost, but we're playing the game the right way. That's the only thing I care about. I know my teammates want the same thing. We're giving 100 percent every day and we're making the fans happy. That's what it's all about. I'm really excited to be a part of this team."