Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/3/12
MIAMI -- Donovan Solano struck out in each of his first four at-bats, but he came through in his final one Tuesday, giving the Miami Marlins a feel-good moment on a day filled with many. Solano hit a walk-off single in the 11th inning, lifting the Marlins to a 4-3 win over the New York Mets. Miami shortstop Jose Reyes tripled to deep center off Collin McHugh (0-4) to lead off the bottom of the 11th. McHugh then issued intentional walks to Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Lee to load the bases. Rob Brantly struck out before Solano singled up the middle to drive in the winning run. "We had the right man in the right spot," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "This kid was going to put the ball in play, and he came through for us one more time." Gorkys Hernandez and Brantly homered for the Marlins, and Chad Gaudin (4-2) pitched an inning in relief to pick up the victory. Adam Greenberg, who signed a one-day contract with the Marlins, struck out in the sixth inning in his first plate appearance in seven years after being hit in the head with a pitch in 2005. "It was magical," Greenberg said. "The energy that was in the stadium is something I've never experienced in my life, and I don't know if I'll ever experience that again. Everyone that was there probably felt the same thing. The applause, you could just feel the genuine support. It was awesome." Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey struck out Greenberg on three pitches after Greenberg was given a standing ovation by the crowd. "Today, this ballclub was more excited than any day," Guillen said. "We've been losing so many games, we hate each other in the dugout. I think this kid (Greenberg) brings a lot of smiles, tears. You see the team is in last place, all of a sudden there's a standing ovation at the ballpark. You don't see that very often." Greenberg was the first person to greet Solano near second base following the game-winner. "There wasn't a chance (I wasn't going to be the first one out there)," Greenberg said. "I was anticipating it. I was playing the game in my head. I knew it was going to happen at some point, and I was ready for it." The Mets had loaded the bases in the 10th, but Ryan Webb escaped the jam by striking out Josh Thole to end the inning. Dickey had won all eight of his previous starts against the Marlins, including five this season. He allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in six innings. "I wanted to win tonight just like I want to win every game," Dickey said. "I gave us a shot at it. I did the best I could with what I had." The NL Cy Young Award candidate finishes his season with a 20-6 record and 2.73 ERA. Dickey will have surgery on Oct. 18 to repair an abdominal tear that had been bothering him since April. "I feel I turned in a pretty healthy body of work," Dickey said of his career year. "I had a lot of help, in particular (catcher) Josh Thole. I might have been remiss in not mentioning him more as my batterymate who has really helped me. The confidence I have throwing to him is unparalleled, really. He's been fantastic." Marlins starter Jacob Turner pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run and three hits. He struck out four. After Greenberg and Hernandez struck out in the sixth, Reyes and Stanton each singled, followed by a single by Lee, who drove in Reyes for a 3-0 Miami lead. Turner exited with two outs in the eighth with a runner on first base. Mike Dunn relieved Turner and allowed a single to Daniel Murphy. Heath Bell came on for Dunn and allowed an RBI single by David Wright to cut the deficit to 3-1. Then Bell walked Ike Davis to load the bases and threw a wild pitch, allowing Murphy to score. Scott Hairston hit an RBI single off Bell to tie the game at 3-3. Bell, who failed to record an out, departed to a shower of boos from the home crowd. Dickey allowed just one hit into the fourth inning before Hernandez deposited a 2-1 offering over the left field fence for an early 1-0 Marlins lead. It was Hernandez's third home run of the season. Reyes followed Hernandez's homer with a single to left. It was just his third hit off Dickey in 25 career at-bats. Reyes stole second base, but Stanton and Lee were retired, leaving Reyes stranded. Brantly led off the fifth with his third home run of the season to give the Marlins a 2-0 advantage. It was only the fourth time this season Dickey has given up two or more home runs in a game. Hairston's two singles were the only hits for the Mets in the first five innings off Turner. NOTES: Fred Van Dusen, the only player to be hit by a pitch in his only major league plate appearance now that Greenberg has recorded an official at-bat, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Van Dusen, 75, played for the Philadelphia Phillies against the Milwaukee Braves on Sept. 11, 1955.... Stanton established a new club record Monday with his 18th home run after the All-Star break in just his 41st game. Stanton is tied with Frank Robinson for fifth all-time with 93 home runs before their 23rd birthday. ... Dickey is the first 20-game winner on a below-.500 team since 1997, when Roger Clemens went 21-7 for the Toronto Blue Jays. ... The Mets will send Jeremy Hefner (3-7, 5.32 ERA) to the mound to face Miami's Tom Koehler (0-0, 5.40 ERA) in the season finale Wednesday.
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