Navarro's heads-up play steals run, win for White Sox

Navarro's heads-up play steals run, win for White Sox

MIAMI -- Dioner Navarro scored the team's game-winning run off of a wild pitch on Melky Cabrera's swinging third strike with two outs in the eighth during an 8-7 win for the White Sox over the Marlins.

It's certainly not the first time the White Sox catcher has come home with the deciding run, but he's not exactly known around baseball for his Tim Anderson-like speed deciding an outcome.

Basically, the White Sox did whatever it took to capture their first three-game series since facing the Yankees from July 4-6 at home.

"I've been playing for a long time so I've seen even crazier stuff than that," said a smiling Navarro. "Fortunately this time it was in our favor and sometimes we need to catch breaks to win games."

"We have seen strange stuff happen on our end, definitely," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I can feel for [the Marlins] in that way, but it's a good feeling to see a ball get away and Dio actually score on that. I don't think you could ever imagine it."

The White Sox actually grabbed a 4-0 lead before the Marlins scored five unanswered runs off of James Shields. Jason Coats' blast to left tied the game in the fourth, but the Marlins regained a 7-5 advantage in knocking out the White Sox starter during the bottom half of the frame. That lead had been trimmed to one when Justin Morneau tied the contest with a pinch-hit double off of reliever Kyle Barraclough, putting runners on second and third with nobody out in the eighth.

It quickly moved to second and third with two outs when Adam Eaton flew out to right and Tyler Saladino popped up to shortstop. Cabrera had the chance to change the game, but swung through a Barraclough slider.

As the ball bounced to the left of catcher J.T. Realmuto, Navarro made his break. Realmuto didn't try to get Cabrera at first, but instead threw a strike to Barraclough covering the plate, a strike the reliever missed.

Navarro signaled safe as he crossed the plate and then smiled as he turned toward the dugout.

"Our guys seem to enjoy it," said Ventura of Navarro's dash home. "They definitely did."

"I know I didn't [enjoy it] because I was running," Navarro said. "If they did, I'm happy to help them out."

While the White Sox would like to enjoy an incredible comeback putting them back into postseason contention, they will start with an improvement on their 1-8-1 ledger over the past 10 series.

"We've got to keep playing. We've still got a long ways to go," Navarro said. "You never really know. We'll see what happens. Obviously it's good to take the series in the first two games but we've got to come back tomorrow strong and play hard and get another 'W'."

"In games like that, everybody has to contribute to come back and win," Coats said. "It was good to see everybody hang in there and battle the whole game."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.