Mon, Apr 16th 2012, 04:01
At last, the Marlins brought their colorful home run sculpture to life. They did it twice on Sunday, creating a big splash at Marlins Park.
But the decisive moment of an 11-inning marathon was decided the old fashion way, by manufacturing the winning run.
Hanley Ramirez, who blasted a two-run homer to tie it in the eighth, delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning to vault the Marlins to a 5-4 win over the Astros, sending the 34,232 home in a frenzy.
Ramirez enjoyed a four-hit game and provided the Marlins with their second walk-off victory in the series. According to Elias, the Marlins are the first team since the 1995 Rockies to post its first two wins at its new ballpark in walk-off fashion.
For Ramirez, it was his second career walk-off hit, and it completed a seven-hit weekend.
“He did a little change in his stance the last two nights, and it worked,” said bench coach Joey Cora, filling in for manager Ozzie Guillen, whose five-game suspension is now over. “Plus, he got the black hair back. It’s working.”
From an appearance standpoint, Ramirez colored his hair black after he turned it red-orange at the start of the season. At the plate, he also worked on a tip offered by hitting coach Eduardo Perez.
“I’ve got to give credit to Perez, Eddie,” said Ramirez, who raised his batting average from .206 to .282 with his big afternoon. “He was watching videos from 2010, 2009. Right before the game yesterday, about 45 minutes before the game, I had a chance to go to the cage.”