It was a matter of inches separating Logan Forsythe from being the latest unlikely hero for the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. A towering fly ball breezed past the foul pole in left field. The infielder celebrated. The Marlins jumped up and down in their dugout. For a moment, Miami thought another improbable comeback was complete after it trailed by three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Forsythe -- and the umpires -- thought he had hit the go-ahead two-run home run in extra innings. The umpires, though, decided to review and it was apparent: Forsythe's fly ball just missed grazing the foul pole. The Marlins' celebration petered out and a few minutes later the Toronto Blue Jays were instead after a walk-off, 5-4 win in extra innings.
Instead of a seventh win in nine games, Miami (7-4) instead suffered a third straight loss in the first MLB game in Buffalo since 1915.
Even with the loss, the Marlins still sit atop the National League East, ahead of the Atlanta Braves by percentage points as Miami's unprecedented road trip finally nears its end.
It started last Tuesday in Baltimore, when the Marlins beat the Baltimore Orioles following an eight-day layoff and 18 players testing positive for COVID-19. They won five games in four days before the finally lost to the New York Mets on Saturday, sending Miami, at least temporarily, crashing back down to earth with three straight losses.
On Tuesday, the Marlins nearly pulled off another unlikely victory in a season full of them. On its 22nd straight day on the road, Miami was down to its final out in the top of the ninth when Brian Anderson drew a two-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate. Francisco Cervelli, supposed to be nothing more than a backup catcher this season, stepped up with two runners and the Marlins trailing 4-1.
Cervelli, now the regular starter after catcher Jorge Alfaro tested positive for the coronavirus last month, was patient. He took three straight pitches, all down and inside, before he finally saw something he liked. Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass hung a 3-0 sinker hung near the top of the zone and Cervelli jumped on his chance.
As soon as he followed through, the catcher dropped his bat to the ground and pumped both of his fists simultaneously. He turned to his right to face a celebrating dugout and then he rounded the bases. He knew right away his swing was sending the game-tying home run over the fence at Sahlen Field.
In the 10th, Forsythe's foul was as close as Miami came. Toronto (6-8) regrouped and third baseman Travis Shaw smacked a game-winning single with the bases loaded against relief pitcher Sterling Sharp.
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