Miami — Ugueth Urbina blew the save. Then the teammate he supplanted last month as Florida's closer came to the rescue.
Braden Looper pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 11th inning, and worked a scoreless 12th to help Florida beat New York, 4-3, Wednesday night in Game 4 of the World Series.
Urbina, who replaced a faltering Looper as the closer in the final week of the regular season, failed to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth. But Alex Gonzalez hit a game-winning leadoff homer for Florida in the 12th.
With the victory, the Marlins evened the series at 2-all and ensured a return to Yankee Stadium this weekend.
After Chad Fox loaded the bases in the 11th with one out, Looper struck out Aaron Boone, the hero of the Yankees' Game 7 victory in the AL championship series.
"There was no room for error," said Looper, a Wichita State product. "I had to come right after him. I was able to make some good pitches. Luckily, I got the strikeout. It was an awesome feeling."
Looper retired John Flaherty on a popup, then celebrated with a fist pump as he walked off the mound.
"It's the most exciting time I've ever had in baseball," Looper said.
"That was a great opportunity for us," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He certainly did a heck of a job."
Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he brought the hard-throwing Looper into the game because they needed a strikeout. He acknowledged the move was risky.
"It was a scary moment, because we know he's also subject to walking a guy once in a while," McKeon said.
Looper gave up a two-out single to Jason Giambi in the 12th but retired Bernie Williams.
"He did an excellent job, and it's got to be a boost to his confidence," McKeon said.
Looper's postseason ERA is 2.70, and now he has a World Series victory. The Marlins improved to a remarkable 10-1 in one-run games in the postseason, and the series is tied even though they've been outscored 17-9.
"It says that when we get good pitching and keep the opposition low-scoring," McKeon said, "we're going to figure out a way to beat you."