MIAMI (AP) — Christian Yelich stepped to the plate 0 for 4 in the game and 0-since-the-minors when batting with a chance for a walkoff win.
This time he came through. The Miami outfielder hit a two-out, bases-loaded RBI single in the ninth inning Thursday to give the Marlins a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Yelich said the walkoff hit was his first since Single-A. As a reward he was mobbed by his teammates after rounding first base.
"You know you're probably going to get beat up a little bit out there, but it's an awesome feeling," he said. "I got horse-collared for a second, but that's all right. I'll take it. I'm glad I could win that one."
The Marlins won despite squandering a 3-0 eighth-inning lead. They improved to 19-6 at home, best in majors, and have scored a game-ending run in four of their past six victories at Marlins Park.
That gives them five walkoff wins this year, which is tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the most in the majors, according to STATS.
"Nobody wants to play extra innings," manager Mike Redmond said. "We wanted to get that thing done with and go out and have a nice meal."
Miami's Henderson Alvarez threw seven shutout innings, while Cole Hamels allowed three runs in seven innings. The Phillies lost two of three in the series and are 20-24 going into an 11-game homestand starting Friday.
"We're so close for that sort of explosion to happen and for everything to come together," Hamels said. "It's a matter of time before it will happen, but I know personally it should happen soon."
Philadelphia's Marlon Byrd tied it in the eighth with a two-run homer, his sixth. Miami's Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer, giving him two homers and seven RBIs in the past two games, and he threw out a runner at third from center field.
Ozuna also started the ninth-inning rally. He singled with one out off Jake Diekman (2-2), then took second on a two-out single by Jeff Mathis. Pinch hitter Reid Johnson reached on an infield single that Diekman bobbled, sending Ozuna to third and bringing Yelich to the plate.
"I'm thinking, 'Don't leave me here,'" Ozuna said. "He did a good job."
Yelich grounded a 1-1 fastball up the middle.
"It was fitting to get Yellie up there at the end," Redmond said. "He has been in a couple of sits where he has had a chance to get a big hit and hasn't come up with one. I was sitting there thinking, 'This would be a perfect day for him to get a big hit,' and sure enough he did."