The game was tied, 2-2, with one out in the eighth when Rodriguez drove a 1-1 pitch from Valerio De Los Santos (0-1) into the seats in right-center field.
The win was the Marlins fourth in six games.
"I was thinking they might bring in (righthander Luis) Vizcaino because I saw him warming up down in the bullpen," Rodriguez said. "But they kept the lefty in there. He threw the ball over the plate and I was ready for it. I was trying to get it out of the infield, but it went out of the park."
"I threw him a two-seam fastball and it didn't run in much," De Los Santos said. "It stayed pretty flat. It usually sinks, but this time it didn't."
The 1999 American League Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez was batting just .162 (6-for-37) in his last 12 games. But on Tuesday, the catcher went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.
"We're starting to see the full package with him," Marlins manager
said. "We haven't seen it yet. Tonight, you saw some of his power. He crushed that ball to center. I was thinking it was going to be a sacrifice fly and it kept carrying until it went out."
Rodriguez also chipped in defensively in the sixth. With two outs,
John Vander Wal
singled to right field and
tried to score from second.
fired a bullet to Rodriguez, nailing Sexson at the plate.
"He has one of the best arms in the National League and he showed it on that play," Rodriguez said. "He made a heck of a throw. I didn't want to move a whole lot. I was able to get it down and make the tag."
Torborg pointed out that Rodriguez helped deceive Sexson.
"We work on that in the spring, we call it a decoy play," Torborg said. "The key is, if it's going to be a bang-bang play at the plate, for the catcher to act like there's not going to be a tag. Then, he grabs it and makes a fast tag. It worked in that situation."
"I thought I was safe, but it could have gone either way," Sexson said. "My hand definitely touched the plate. I don't know if he tagged me or not. He (plate umpire Jim Joyce) is in the right position to make the call. If we had taken the lead there, maybe things would have been different."
The Marlins bullpen entered the game ranked last in the National League with a 5.61 ERA. But on Tuesday, reliever
(1-0) gave up a hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Righthander
yielded a walk and a hit before securing his third save.