The rest of the Florida Marlins quickly joined the scene of celebration triggered by a wild pitch. It allowed Ross to score from third with one out in the ninth inning Thursday night for a 2-1 win over the New York Mets.
"It's one of those things you can't really describe," Ross said. "To score a game-winning run, it's exciting."
Ross walked with one out against Nieve (1-2) and took third on a single by Ronny Paulino. Mets manager Jerry Manuel decided against bringing in closer Francisco Rodriguez, and Nieve's first pitch to pinch-hitter Dan Uggla was a breaking ball in the dirt that bounced away from catcher Rod Barajas.
"I was looking for the breaking ball away," Barajas said. "I thought I got over there, but it hit the glove and hopped on over."
Ross scored without a play.
"They hook up, and it's not very many pretty swings," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Runs were hard to come by. We snuck one out."
Leo Nunez (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth after Luis Castillo reached second on a single and an error to start the inning. Jose Reyes was retired after failing in an attempt to bunt Castillo to third, and David Wright struck out for the 46th time this year to end the threat.
That gave the Marlins the lift they needed.
"It started with Nunez getting out of that jam," Ross said. "He got some big outs, and it gave us momentum going into the bottom of the ninth."
Each of New York's past 10 games have been decided by less than three runs. Starting a three-city, eight-game trip, the Mets have the fewest road wins in the majors and are now 4-9 away from home.
They're also 4-9 in one-run games. The Mets totaled only four hits, with none between the second and ninth innings.
"We have to start swinging the bats," manager Jerry Manuel said. "You've got to tip your hat to their guy tonight -- very good, very good. But we have to take note these next couple of days where we are as an offensive club. And if we continue to see the same thing, then I'm going to have to make some adjustments to the lineup."
The Marlins' hitters are struggling, too. Florida has scored 28 runs in the past nine games.
"Sooner or later we're all going to start clicking and swinging the bats like we're capable of," Ross said.
Gaby Sanchez went 3 for 3 against Santana, but the Marlins went 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position and grounded into three double plays.
Santana's pinpoint location betrayed him only once -- on a throw to second base. His misfire led to an unearned run in the third.
"I didn't get a good grip and threw too high," Santana said. "It's too bad; it's something we practice all the time."
The left-hander, who had perhaps his best changeup of the year, gave up six hits and struck out five.
Johnson allowed only three hits, all singles in the span of five batters in the second inning, including a two-out hit by Barajas. Johnson struck out seven and walked none.
The Marlins are last in the majors in fielding, but defense kept them in the game. Angel Pagan was twice robbed of a hit when left fielder Chris Coghlan and second baseman Brian Barden made diving plays, and first baseman Sanchez's leaping catch of a liner by Santana with two on ended the second inning.
"I enjoy playing in games like that," Sanchez said. "It's intense, and you never know what's going to happen."
Before the game, the Marlins recalled C Brett Hayes from Triple-A New Orleans and optioned OF Bryan Petersen to New Orleans. Hayes can also play left field and first base. ... Johnson made a bad throw in the sixth inning for the eighth error by a Marlins pitcher this season. ... Uggla, who is 1 for 19 against Santana with 10 strikeouts, was held out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. ... Manuel on stealing signs: "I try to pick up everything I can. I just don't use binoculars." The Philadelphia Phillies' bullpen coach was caught on camera this week peering through binoculars from the bullpen bench at Coors Field. ... The Marlins are the only team in the majors without a home run by a left-handed hitter.