After he flied out in the fifth inning, Gaby Sanchez retreated to the Marlins clubhouse to study videos of his swing. That’s when he overheard broadcasters say the Marlins had traded for Carlos Lee, all but sealing his fate as the team’s first baseman.
Despite what had to be dispiriting news, Sanchez came through for the Marlins in a way he seldom did throughout this season. He singled and scored in a big seventh inning for the Marlins and belted a two-out, two-strike home run in the ninth that sent Wednesday’s game against the Brewers into extra innings. The Marlins won it in the 10th, 7-6.
Minutes afterward, Sanchez was demoted to the minors. He dressed quickly and departed for Triple A New Orleans before reporters could speak with him. But Sanchez’s teammates had nothing but praise for him.
“He showed everybody here a lot today,” said Logan Morrison, who delivered his own big blow, a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the seventh. “It’s pretty impressive by him. I don’t know if I could do that, especially if it meant I was going to get sent down.”
On a day in which the Marlins put Tuesday’s crushing loss to rest with a comeback victory, Giancarlo Stanton remained out of the lineup with a troubling knee injury, and the team traded for Lee to infuse offense into the lineup, Sanchez produced one of his team’s biggest hits.
The Marlins, who trailed 5-1, tied it with four runs in the seventh. Morrison’s blast was his second pinch-hit home run in less than two weeks. After the Brewers reclaimed the lead with a run in the seventh, it was Sanchez, with the Marlins down to their last strike, who walloped a John Axford pitch over the fence in right.
Donovan Solano doubled with two outs in the 10th and scored what proved to be the deciding run on Hanley Ramirez’s single up the middle off Manny Parra. Heath Bell took over the in the 10th and preserved the win for his 18th save.
Said manager Ozzie Guillen: “Good sign, because the way we lost yesterday and come back and play the way we played today, that’s a little light in the tunnel.’’
The victory for the Marlins was their first over the Brewers following 10 consecutive losses to Milwaukee. It was also their last game with Sanchez in their lineup, at least for the foreseeable future. Lee is expected to arrive in time for Thursday’s game.
“I think it’s a welcome presence in the lineup, a veteran bat that knows how to drive in runs and doesn’t strike out very often,” Morrison said of Lee. “Seeing Gaby go, that’s pretty tough because he’s a great guy. I’m glad to call him a teammate.”