“This is the inning,” Ross said he told him. “I feel it. I usually don’t say stuff like that.”
Uggla did his part to make the prediction come true, hitting a game-ending RBI single that gave the Marlins a come-from-behind, 9-8 victory over the Houston Astros Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Chris Coghlan started the inning with a walk off Wesley Wright (2-2), then Nick Johnson walked. After Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu struck out, John Baker walked to load the bases.
Alberto Arias entered in relief, and Uggla lined a single through the left side of the infield. He was mobbed by teammates just after touching first, ducking to the ground to lessen the blows in the dog-pile celebration.
“It feels great,” Uggla said. “First off to get the win, and then being the one to get the win, it’s just a lot of fun.”
The Marlins didn’t waste this opportunity after blowing a chance in the 10th, when Jeremy Hermida was thrown out at the plate by Jeff Keppinger. Brian Sanches (3-1) pitched the 10th to get the win.
The Marlins had come back from a five-run deficit to take the lead before Geoff Blum’s RBI double in the ninth off Leo Nunez tied it. Nunez recovered to get Hunter Pence to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners on first and third.
“We can’t quit,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said about his team’s current slide. “I keep saying we need a (winning) streak, and we do need one.”
After being swept last week by the last-place Washington Nationals, the Marlins’ playoff hopes looked grim. Then they swept NL East-leading Philadelphia, and with two wins to start a seven-game homestand, the Marlins have quickly climbed back in contention. Florida remains 3 1/2 games behind the Phillies, who beat the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
“It’s a great win for us because we’re on a roll,” Ross said. “When we were down, you’re thinking you don’t want this winning streak to end. I’m glad it didn’t.”
The Astros seemed ready to end the Marlins’ streak early.
Carlos Lee had a two-run double, and Miguel Tejada added a two-run single to highlight a five-run fifth that gave Houston a 6-2 lead. The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning to chase Chris Volstad, who allowed eight hits and walked three in 4 2-3 innings. Tejada also had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to stretch Houston’s lead to 7-2.
But Volstad wasn’t the only starter to quickly implode.
Roy Oswalt gave up four straight singles to start the sixth, and the Marlins would score four in the inning to trim Houston’s lead to 7-6 without even getting an extra-base hit. All the runs in the inning were charged to Oswalt, who was replaced in the inning without recording an out.
Oswalt had last pitched two weeks ago, leaving after 1 2-3 innings with a sore back, but showed no signs of the injury Tuesday night.
The Marlins capped the rally with Baker’s two-run double in the seventh off reliever Jeff Fulchino to take an 8-7 lead.
“You have to give credit to them. They never quit,” Tejada said. “That was a tough game because that was a game we should have won.”