Gordon's speed already making a difference for Marlins

Second baseman races home for game-winner vs. Rays

Gordon's speed already making a difference for Marlins

MIAMI -- Considering all the adversity the Marlins have gone through already in this young season, Dee Gordon wasn't taking anything for granted. Even when the speedster could have literally trotted home from second in the 10th inning, he kicked it up a gear until he crossed home plate.

Gordon ignited his team all night, and he put an exclamation point on the wild evening by scoring the game-winning run in the Marlins' 10-9 victory over the Rays at Marlins Park.

Gordon went 3-for-5, scored four times, swiped two bases, and doubled off Brad Boxberger with one out in the 10th inning. Christian Yelich added the finishing touches with a single to left, and the Marlins were finally able to celebrate a victory.

Rays get Gordon in rundown

As soon as Yelich's well-struck hit left the infield, Gordon had one thing on his mind.

"Run as fast as possible," he said. "Don't stop. I even slid to make sure I was safe. I wasn't messing around with it."

A lack of speed in 2014 prompted the Marlins to acquire Gordon from the Dodgers at the Winter Meetings.

In a game that lasted three hours and 36 minutes, Gordon was in a hurry to get home and join the mob scene that surrounded Yelich.

Gordon scores on double play

"He changes the game," Yelich said of Gordon. "He has game-changing speed. I knew as soon as it got through the infield, he was scoring, without a doubt. When we've got that on our side, it's special. He's going to be capable of doing that a lot this year."

The Marlins had just 58 steals as a team last year. Gordon paced the Majors with 64, and he already has three in four games.

"You saw it tonight, multiple times," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's nice for us to have the ability to steal a base at any time. He brings it every night. It's fun to have a guy like that on our club."

Gordon's diving stop

Marlins right-hander Dan Haren, who started and gave up one run in six innings on Friday, was a teammate of Gordon last year in Los Angeles.

"He's got a lot of energy. He can really ignite the offense," Haren said. "It's fun to watch. I got to watch it last year. He was a big part of the reason the Dodgers were able to get into the postseason. I'm really happy for him."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.