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The Lucky Bat

                  There's nothing remarkable about the bat Brett Carroll uses. It's a relatively common, Louisville Slugger, model S318. But if the Hall of Fame is paying attention, it might consider asking for the particular bat Carroll used Thursday in the Marlins' come-from-behind victory.

                  Carroll not only used it to hit his 3-run homer off Scott Schoeneweis, the blast that put the Marlins on top for good, but was also used by Hanley Ramirez when he singled two batters earlier. That's right, the same bat was good for not just two hits in the Marlins' 10-run eighth, but two pinch-hits, which is perhaps a major league first.

     Carroll                                              Manager Fredi Gonzalez went to the bench in the decisive eighth, sending up three consecutive pinch-hitters in Ramirez, Ross Gload and Carroll -- in that order. Ramirez fouled off a pitch during his at bat, causing it to break. As he and Carroll use the same bat model, he called into the dugout for a replacement, yelling "B.C., throw me one of yours."

                  After Ramirez singled to right and Gload drove in the first run of the breakout inning with a fielder's choice, Carroll hit a Schoeneweis pitch into the left field seats to give the Marlins, who had trailed 7-0 in the sixth, an 8-7 lead. The Marlins went on to win 14-7.

                  Alas, Carroll's bat handle broke on the home run. Barring an unforseen call from the Hall of Fame, Carroll said he'll likely give the bat to a relative.

                  Said Carroll: "It died a hero, I guess."