Miami, FL – Ryan Ludwick knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins to avoid a three-game sweep on Sunday.
After both teams failed to score with a runner in scoring position in the 10th, Cincinnati took advantage of its opportunity in the 11th.
Chris Heisey singled to start the frame before Carlos Zambrano (7-10) issued a walk to Joey Votto. Ludwick then ripped a grounder through the left side of the infield to score Heisey from second for the go-ahead run.
"It's not the same, especially when you don't pitch in a while," Zambrano said of moving from the starting rotation to the bullpen. "It's not an excuse. I should throw more strikes in that situation."
Jonathan Broxton issued a two-out walk in the bottom half, but got John Buck to fly out to the deepest part of the spacious Marlins Park to secure his second save with the Reds.
Logan Ondrusek (4-2) earned the victory after striking out Giancarlo Stanton with runners on first and second to end the 10th.
Ludwick finished with three hits and a pair of RBI, while Dioner Navarro and Didi Gregorius each registered three hits and an RBI for the Reds, who own an 11-game lead atop the NL Central.
"It was a big one for us," Ludwick said. "They gave us all we could handle for three straight days and just to be able to get that one is very important in my opinion."
Gregg Dobbs clubbed a two-run triple and Jose Reyes added an RBI double, but the Marlins fell for the fourth time in their last six games.
The Reds grabbed an early lead in the second after Todd Frazier and Navarro smacked back-to-back base hits before Gregorius plated Frazier with single through the right side of the infield.
Cincinnati tacked on a run in the fourth on Brandon Phillips' RBI groundout, but Miami broke through in the bottom half to tie the game as Stanton and Carlos Lee worked back-to-back two-out walks.
Dobbs then brought both runners home with a line-drive triple into the right- field corner to knot the game at 2-2.
The Reds responded with a two-out run in their next at-bat as Votto and Ludwick started the frame with consecutive singles before Navarro came through with a two-out single into center field to score Votto for a 3-2 edge.
The visitors added to the lead in the sixth when Phillips scored on Ludwick's two-out single to left field, but a Donovan Solano sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Lee, who doubled to start the frame, bringing Miami within 4-3.
The Marlins then tied the game in the eighth after pinch-hitter Austin Kearns started the frame with a single, moved to second on a bunt and scored two batters later when Reyes ripped a two-out double off the base of the wall in right field to knot the game at 4-4.
Cincinnati starter Mat Latos allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over 7 2/3 frames ... Miami starter Ricky Nolasco surrendered three runs on 10 hits over five innings ... Broxton was acquired from the Kansas City Royals on July 31 in exchange for a pair of prospects. He has 25 saves overall this season.