For a first-year franchise, the Florida Marlins surprised a lot of people with their competitiveness over the first three months of the season. In early July, the Marlins were 36-42, but proceeded to drop 18 of their next 25 games.
On this day 30 years ago, however, the Marlins started August on the right foot with a thrilling victory. Chuck Carr plated the winning run in the ninth inning with a well-executed drag bunt in a 5-4 win over the Montreal Expos.
The Marlins were trying to avoid a three-game sweep as the teams met for the series finale at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 1, 1993. After losing in heartbreaking fashion the day prior, Florida made sure the roles were reversed.
With the score tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, Darrell Whitmore sparked the Marlins with a lead-off double off Brian Barnes. As Montreal turned to Jeff Shaw, Bob Natal sacrificed Whitmore over to third. Shaw, however, was able to get Walt Weiss to ground out without the run scoring, forcing Florida to get a hit to take the lead.
On a 1-1 pitch from Shaw, Carr was able to place a drag bunt perfectly between second baseman Delino DeShields and first baseman Derrick White. With no one covering the base, Carr used his blazing speed to pick up the RBI single without a throw.
The Marlins started strong with a run in the first on an RBI single from Jeff Conine. Florida added two in the fourth on a single from Orestes Destrade and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Alex Arias.
Montreal broke up the shutout and took the lead with four unearned runs in the fifth inning. After a throwing error from third baseman Gary Sheffield allowed the first Expos run to score, Larry Walker came through with a bases-clearing double. Florida opened the sixth with five straight hits but managed just one run on a game-tying RBI single from Whitmore.
Despite not taking the lead for good until their final at-bat, the Marlins outhit the Expos, 12-5. Conine finished with three hits while Carr, Sheffield, Destrade and Whitmore each added two. Catcher Darrin Fletcher had two of the five hits for Montreal.
Carr was responsible for a lot of firsts in Marlins history. He was their first stolen base king and hit the first walk-off home run in club history. Carr gave the Marlins their first comeback win at Olympic Stadium on this day three decades ago.
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fish on First, who covers Miami Marlins history. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson