HOUSTON -- The way the Astros and Marlins battled for six nip-and-tuck games this season, it was only fitting their final meeting of the season -- and perhaps final meeting for the immediate future -- was a knock-down, drag-out war of attrition at Minute Maid Park.
The Marlins broke through in the top of the 12th inning on a two-run single by Omar Infante off reliever David Carpenter, but it wasn't until J.A. Happ -- pinch-hitting because the Astros were out of position players -- struck out to the end the game that Miami was able to exhale.
The Astros finished their nine-game homestand with a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Marlins on Wednesday night in a game took more than four hours to play. Five of the six meetings between the clubs this year were decided by one run or in extra innings.
"We battled all the way through," said Astros manager Brad Mills, whose team finished a 6-3 run at home. "We've been talking about our pitching and our bullpen, and those guys again tonight, they kept giving us chances to get a run and win this thing, and it didn't [happen]."
The Astros have played three extra-inning games in 2012, all of which have come against the Marlins. The teams are so familiar with one another, tensions flared in the seventh inning when Houston reliever Wilton Lopez hit Marlins slugger Hanley Ramirez, forcing the umpires to warn both benches after Ramirez glared at Lopez.
The game wouldn't have gone to extra innings had Astros outfielder Brian Bogusevic not come through in the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-out single to score pinch-runner Marwin Gonzalez from third and tie the game. Gonzalez was pinch-runn