A member of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2012 to 2014, Hanley Ramirez played plenty of games at Dodger Stadium. Long before he joined the franchise, however, the standout infielder as coming through at Chavez Ravine, including on this day 15 years ago.
Ramirez played the role of hero. His 11th-inning home run capped a five-hit night as the Florida Marlins edged the Dodgers, 5-4.
Neither team had scored since the sixth inning as the Marlins stepped in to face Brian Falkenborg in the top of the 11th on July 10, 2008. Falkenborg was able to retire John Baker and Wes Helms to start the inning before Ramirez came to the plate.
It took just one pitch for Ramirez to put Florida ahead for good. On a high fastball on the outer half of the plate, Ramirez was able to hammer it into the right-centerfield stands for the go-ahead home run. Kevin Gregg closed it out for the Marlins by working a 1-2-3 bottom half of the inning.
In what served as the first game of a four-game set, the Marlins found most of their offense early. Ramirez led off the game with a single before scoring on an RBI single from Jorge Cantú to get the scoring started. Josh Willingham doubled Cantu home later in the inning.
A solo home run from Baker in the second extended the lead to 3-0 before the Dodgers drew even in the third. Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Russell Martin each came through with RBI singles for Los Angeles in the inning.
Florida starting pitcher Josh Johnson helped himself with an RBI single in the fourth to put Florida back in front. Martin homered for the Dodgers in the sixth to knot the contest at 4.
Ethier and Martin each finished with two hits for the Dodgers in the loss. Cantu finished 3-for-5 while Baker had two hits and two runs scored for the Marlins.
Ramirez finished the night 5-for-6 and just a triple shy of the cycle. His five hits tied a franchise record that still stands. The last of those hits was a solo shot that put the Marlins ahead for good. It came on this day 15 years ago.
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fish on First, who covers Miami Marlins history. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.