Amazing slide propels Marlins
First there was The Catch. Then came The Slide.
Six innings after Roger Bernadina saved two runs for the Washington Nationals with one of the best catches anyone there had ever seen, Omar Infante scored the go-ahead run for the Florida Marlins with a clever slide in the 11th inning of a 6-5 win Friday night.
Bernadina's breathtaking catch kept the game the game tied at 4. After Logan Morrison hit a home run in the top of the eighth to give Florida a one-run lead, Washington tied it in the bottom half.
It tied 5-all in the top of the 11th when Infante singled off Brian Broderick (0-1) with one out and Greg Dobbs doubled to right. Jayson Werth threw the ball to Jerry Hairston, who relayed it perfectly to catcher Wilson Ramos. Infante slid head first, stopping himself and reaching over and around Ramos to touch the back tip of the plate with three fingers for the lead.
''I was thinking I'm out for sure,'' Infante said. ''He goes to touch me and I pull my hand around him. That's my only opportunity to be safe.''
Washington shortstop Ian Desmond had a clear view of the play.
''We executed it so well, it was almost too fast,'' Desmond said. ''That was about as perfectly executed of a cutoff relay as you could possibly have.''
In the dugout, manager Edwin Rodriguez marveled at his shortstop's athleticism.
''I think the most impressive thing was they were waiting for him, and the way he avoided the tag,'' Rodriguez said. ''He avoided the whole tag and then he reached for home plate. It was hell of a body control there.''
While the Marlins were exuberant over the slide, the Nationals were equally impressed Bernadina's catch.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Mike Stanton hit a ball to deep center. Bernadina ran toward the fence, extended his glove, leaped and snared the ball, falling over backward and staying on the ground for a few moments. The astounding grab kept the game tied at 4.
''I couldn't believe he caught it,'' manager Jim Riggleman said.
''When the ball kept carrying, I went after it. I dove. It was the only play'' I could make, Bernadina said.
Bernadina also had a two-run double among his three hits.
Edward Mujica (4-1), the sixth Florida pitcher, threw a scoreless 10th for the win. Leo Nunez pitched the 11th for his 13th save.
''I hate to lose that game. I know they're agonizing over that,'' Riggleman said.
The Marlins hit four home runs. Gaby Sanchez and John Buck hit back-to-back homers in the first and Stanton connected in the sixth. Morrison homered in the eighth.
Hanley Ramirez singled with two outs in the first. Sanchez then hit his seventh homer of the year to center and Buck followed with a home run off Tom Gorzelanny into Washington's bullpen in left-center. It was Buck's fifth home run of the year, and the first time Florida hit back-to-back homers this season.
Desmond had an RBI single off Chris Volstad in the third for Washington.
Stanton hit his sixth home run with one out in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Washington tied the score at 4 in the fourth on Laynce Nix's fifth home run Bernadina's double.
Morrison, in his first game since missing three weeks with a strained arch in his left foot, then gave Florida a 5-4 lead in the eighth.
Washington tied it in the bottom half on Nix 's RBI single.
Volstad allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking one.
Gorzelanny pitched 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Notes: Desmond has a sore left quad and Riggleman said he would rest him on Saturday. The Marlins reinstated RHP Javier Vazquez from the bereavement list. Rodriguez expects Vazquez to pitch on Sunday against the Nationals. ... Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who had surgery to repair a tear in his abdominal muscle, on May 3, jogged on Friday for the first time since the procedure. He's expected to miss six weeks. ... Mujica, carted off the field Monday with a strained left knee, pitched for the first time since then. ... Nationals OF Rick Ankiel, who's been on the disabled list with a right wrist injury since May 3, has been recovering slowly, Riggleman said. ... The four home runs allowed by the Nationals were a season high. They hadn't given up more than two in any other game.