They were down 2-0 and down to their last out.
They hadn’t won a game all season which they trailed after eight innings, going 0-for-40 in those spots. Defeat looked certain for the Marlins on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
And yet, somehow, they won.
The Marlins scored two runs in the ninth to tie it before Martin Prado capped off the come-from-behind victory with a solo homer in the 11th in the 3-2 win over the Phillies.
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“It’s a significant win today,” Prado said.
Said Christian Yelich, who came up with one of the big RBI hits with two outs in the ninth: “They kind of had us down the whole game and we kept fighting until the end. You kind of feel like you stole that one, and that’s what you’ve got to do to be a good team.”
The Marlins (50-42) improved to eight games over .500 for the first time since June 3, 2012. And with the New York Mets losing Monday, the Marlins took over sole possession of second place in the National League East.
It took a last-gasp comeback to pull it off.
Yelich and Marcell Ozuna came up with clutch, two-outs hits in the ninth to tie it before Prado delivered the deciding blow off Phillies reliever Jeanmar Gomez in the 11th with a solo home run to give the Marlins their sixth win over their past seven games.
“It was fun to watch,” said Jose Fernandez, who tied a career with 14 strikeouts but came out in the seventh, trailing 2-0. “That shows you how good this team is and how we don’t give up until the game is over.”
Fernandez had his “K” game going from the outset.
Taking the mound for the first time since the All-Star Game, Fernandez struck out eight batters in the first three innings. When he fanned Cody Asche in the fourth inning he became the third-fastest pitcher since 1900 to reach 500 career strikeouts. Fernandez hit the 500-mark in his 65th game. Only Dwight Gooden (61 games) and Yu Darvish (62) got there quicker.
“I felt very strong even when I was warming up,” said Fernandez, whose fastball had some extra kick to it. “I told (pitching coach) Juan Nieves that I felt very strong, we have to be careful with that.”
Fernandez gave up a run in the first on a ground ball out and in the seventh on Tommy Joseph’s solo homer to start the inning.
The Marlins’ hitters, meanwhile, were coming up empty against Phillies starter Aaron Nola, who had given them trouble in the past. Nola surrendered just two hits over six innings.
And the Marlins had only three hits total entering the ninth.
But that’s when they finally came to life, with J.T. Realmuto reaching on a one-out single. Then, after Prado struck out, Yelich doubled into the gap to make it 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton walked, bringing up Ozuna, who tied with his RBI single to center.
“We always talk about playing until the last out, and it’s never over until it’s over,” Yelich said. “All those cliches, it’s really true.”
The Marlins’ bullpen was magnificent, as the Phillies went hitless after Fernandez came out of the game with one out in the seventh. The Marlins used five relievers to close out the win, with A.J. Ramos finishing it off in 11th for his 30th save.
“You’ve got to be in it until the end and win those hard-fought, extra-inning games,” Yelich said of the Marlins, who are now 3-4 in games going longer than nine innings.