Miami Marlins

Marcell Ozuna’s fourth hit wins it as Miami Marlins top Phillies 4-3

Miami Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna hits a walk-off double in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, May 1, 2015 at Marlins Park in Miami.
Miami Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna hits a walk-off double in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, May 1, 2015 at Marlins Park in Miami. El Nuevo Herald

For a second Friday night, it looked like Marcell Ozuna might have made his first home run of the season a dramatic walk-off winner.

Instead, his shot to left field off Ken Giles hooked about 15 feet foul.

What Ozuna settled for one pitch later wasn’t so bad.

His third double of the game — a screaming line drive off the base of the wall in left-center field — gave Giancarlo Stanton just enough time to race home from first base with the winning run as the Marlins rallied to beat the Phillies 4-3 in front of 18,511 at Marlins Park.

“All I was thinking was go-go-go-go-go-go-go,” Ozuna said of his third career walk-off hit. “When I saw the play [at the plate], I said, ‘Oh my God.’ Then we jumped and celebrated.”

The Marlins celebrated for about 10 seconds. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz came so close to tagging Stanton out on the relay throw to the plate the play had to be reviewed. But the Marlins (11-12) still ended up with their eighth win in their past nine games.

The earned run was the first Giles had allowed all season in 11 innings of work.

The way things were rolling for Tom Koehler early — he retired the first nine Phillies he faced — and the way Philadelphia (8-16) has hit this season (they came in last in runs and next-to-last in batting average), it looked like it might be an easy night for Miami.

The Phillies’ Nos. 3-4-5 hitters, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Grady Sizemore, came in with 27 combined hits — 11 fewer than Dee Gordon.

But Utley’s first-pitch swinging, three-run home run off Koehler in the fourth changed the entire flow of the game.

Koehler didn’t make it to the sixth inning, but he made arguably the biggest play of the game covering the plate.

After unleashing a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, Koehler ran home, collected the flip from catcher J.T. Realmuto and applied the tag to get Howard at the plate. That play was reviewed too, but also went in the Marlins’ favor.

“That’s something we worked on a lot in spring training, and I don’t know that I’ve ever actually done it,” said Koehler, who gave up four hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts over five innings. “I know I tagged him, but I wasn’t exactly sure where. I mean, I knew I got one hand, but I don’t know where his other one was. It looked like one of those plays that was tough to overturn.”

Trailing 3-1, Miami tied the score at 3 in the fifth on a Martin Prado RBI single and a Stanton double to left. But with the bases loaded and the Marlins having a chance to take the lead, Jerome Williams settled in and struck out Mike Morse swinging and got Realmuto to bounce out to third.

The Marlins threatened to take the lead again in the sixth, loading the bases on a Justin Bour double and Dee Gordon’s third career intentional walk. But Prado bounced into an inning-ending double play.

Ozuna, though, would come through in the ninth on Superheroes Night at the ballpark. His fourth hit of the game, tying a career-high, produced only his fifth RBI of the season. He hit 23 homers and drove in 85 runs last year.

“He’ll hit his homers,” manager Mike Redmond said. “The worst thing he can do is go out there and try to hit homers. We talk to him about it all the time.

“But you know what, I felt so confident with him at the plate right there. His at-bats were solid. And you can just tell he wanted to be up in that situation and when I saw that ball in the gap I was hoping ‘G’ was going to be able to make it. It was close, but we’ll take it.”

▪ Friday’s game at Marlins Park was played with the roof open for the first time since the Opening Day rain-delay fiasco.

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