BY CLARK SPENCER
PHOENIX – They were down 7-0 and looking very much dead.
Then the Marlins rose like the Phoenix, matching the largest comeback in franchise history with a football-like14-7 victory on Thursday over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. It equaled the 2003 Marlins’ similarly stunning comeback victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, when they rallied for a 10-9 win after trailing 9-2.
A stunned crowd of 21,558 watched the Diamondbacks disintegrate in a collapse of enormous proportions.
The Diamondbacks owned a seemingly comfortable lead, 7-0, entering the sixth.
Then it all crumbled in an avalanche of runs.
The Marlins erupted for a franchise-record 10 runs in the eighth inning to cap off their incredible comeback.
Even Hanley Ramirez, who missed the four previous games with a tight hip flexor, got into the act, coming off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit single in the record-breaking eighth inning. He also walked in what was a painfully long inning for the Diamondbacks..
But it all started in the sixth when Jorge Cantu and Jeremy Hermida each hit home runs off Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit, with Hermida’s solo shot sending Petit to the showers.
The Marlins added another run in the seventh to make it 7-4.
But the inning that will be long remembered was the eighth.
The Marlins sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning.
After pinch-hitter Ross Gload made it 7-5 with his RBI fielder’s choice, another pinch-hitter – Brett Carroll – slammed a 3-run home run to put the Marlins on top. Carroll hit the home run off Arizona left-hander Scott Schoeneweis. Arizona’s rookie manager, A.J. Hinch, did not have a right-hander warming up in the bullpen at the time.
The onslaught didn’t end there, though, as the Diamondbacks came unglued.
With the crowd booing their every mistake, Arizona committed two errors and one passed ball in the disastrous eighth.
The 10 runs scored by the Marlins broke the old franchise mark of eight.
All but forgotten in the shocking comeback was a poor start by the Marlins’ Andrew Miller and an injury to reliever Burke Badenhop, who was drilled in the knee by a line drive and limped off the field.
X-rays were negative, and Badenhop is listed as day to day.
Miller was ineffective, allowing six runs (only two of which were earned as the result of an error by Emilio Bonifacio) and failed to make it through the third inning.