Wednesday's National League Capsules
Originally published May 26, 2011 at 12:28 a.m., updated May 26, 2011 at 2:15 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Infielder Wilson Valdez wound up as the winning pitcher early Thursday when the Philadelphia Phillies needed 19 innings to outlast the Cincinnati Reds 5-4.
A dwindling crowd at Citizens Bank Park saw Raul Ibanez hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to decide the longest major league game of the season. It ended at 1:19 a.m. after 6 hours, 11 minutes.
Not much time for rest, either. The teams were set to play again Thursday at 1:05 p.m.
Valdez threw a hitless 19th inning in his first professional pitching appearance. Phillies fans stood and chanted “Let’s go, Wilson!” when the 33-year-old journeyman shifted from second to the mound.
The first batter Valdez faced was Joey Votto, and the reigning NL MVP flied out to deep center field.
Valdez (1-0) became the first position player to become a winning pitcher since Colorado catcher Brent Mayne on Aug. 22, 2000, STATS LLC said. Mayne went one inning in a 7-6 victory over Atlanta in 12 innings.
Valdez threw one pitch to the backstop and hit Scott Rolen. But the Phillies’ newest right-hander then retired Jay Bruce on a fly ball and got down Reds reliever Carlos Fisher (0-1) on a popup.
Fisher, the Reds’ seventh pitcher, worked 5 2-3 innings and gave up one run and four hits.
Fisher finally wore down when Jimmy Rollins singled to open the 19th, Domonic Brown walked and Placido Polanco sacrificed. Thousands of fans derisively chanted “Fisher! Fisher!” before he intentionally walked Ryan Howard to load the bases. Ibanez hit a fly to deep center to win it.
Bruce homered in the 10th for the Reds, then Howard went deep and tied it in the bottom half. They ended up playing the longest game in the eight-season history of the ballpark.
By time, the Reds and Phillies still had a long way to go to match the latest-ending game in the big leagues this year. It was 2:45 a.m. at Fenway Park when the Los Angeles Angels beat Boston in the 13th inning of a rain-delayed game earlier this month.
Marlins 7, Giants 6, 12 innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Scott Cousins scored the winning run in a hard collision with catcher Buster Posey at home in the 12th inning, and Florida beat San Francisco after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth.
Emilio Bonifacio hit a short fly ball to right-center off Guillermo Mota (2-1) for the second out. Cousins tagged from third base, beating the throw from Nate Schierholtz and lowering his shoulder to slam into Posey for a clean — albeit cringing — hit. Posey lay dazed, writhing in pain and curling up in a ball for several minutes. He was helped off the field by two team trainers holding his left leg and looking stunned.
The Giants batted around in the ninth to score four runs and force extra innings.
Ryan Webb (1-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Brewers 6, Nationals 4
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Zack Greinke hit a go-ahead homer and struck out 10 over seven innings, helping Milwaukee beat Washington for its sixth straight victory.
Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Brewers, 13-3 in their last 16 games.
They also have nine straight home victories — one short of the franchise record set in 1979 — after sweeping Pittsburgh, Colorado and Washington.
Michael Morse hit his third homer in three days for Washington. The Nationals went 1-7 on their trip, losing the last five games.
Greinke (3-1) struck out at least one batter each inning.
Greinke swung at the first pitch he saw from Jason Marquis (5-2) in the fifth, hitting a towering fly ball down the left-field line to give Milwaukee a 4-3 lead.
Braves 4, Pirates 2, 11 innings
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brooks Conrad hit a pinch two-run homer in the 11th inning for Atlanta.
With pinch-runner Wilkin Ramirez on first and one out, Conrad hit a 1-2 pitch from Jeff Karstens (3-3) into a sliver of seats in right-center for his first home run of the season and fifth career pinch-hit homer.
Eric Hinske hit a solo homer, and Jordan Schafer and Alex Gonzalez each had two hits for the Braves, who have won three of four and got a strong outing from rookie Mike Minor in a spot start for Tim Hudson.
Steve Pearce homered for the first time in 20 months and went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for Pittsburgh.
Minor allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings, Jonny Venters got Pearce to ground into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, and George Sherrill (1-0) pitched a perfect 10th for the Braves.
Craig Kimbrel retired the Pirates in order in the 11th for his 14th save.
Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 1
DENVER (AP) — Ian Kennedy tossed eight crisp innings, center fielder Chris Young robbed Ty Wigginton of a tying homer and surging Arizona beat Colorado.
Young drove in the go-ahead run with a bloop single in the sixth, then made his key grab in the eighth.
The Diamondbacks have won eight of their last nine to move over .500 for just the second time this season.
Kennedy (6-1) allowed seven hits. The lone run he surrendered came on Todd Helton’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. J.J. Putz pitched a flawless ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances.
Jason Hammel (3-4) was a hard-luck loser, pitching seven innings and surrendering two unearned runs.
Astros 2, Dodgers 1
HOUSTON (AP) — J.R. Towles broke out of an 0-for-32 slump with three hits, the last an RBI single with two outs in the ninth that lifted Houston past Los Angeles.
Brett Wallace doubled off Matt Guerrier (2-3), Bill Hall flied out for the second out, and Towles lined a drive into center field, scoring Wallace.
Mark Melancon (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two. Ted Lilly gave up a home run to Michael Bourn on the first pitch of the game, but held off the Astros after that.
Mets 7, Cubs 4, 7 innings
CHICAGO (AP) — Dillon Gee recovered from a poor start to throw six solid innings and New York beat wild reliever Justin Berg and Chicago in a rain-shortened game.
The game was called with two outs in the top of the seventh inning after a 41-minute delay.
Berg threw 12 pitches — all balls — while walking three batters. He forced home two runs during the Mets’ five-run second. Gee (4-0) allowed four runs in the first, but bounced back to throw five scoreless innings and retired 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.
Carlos Beltran doubled, tripled, scored twice and drove in two more for the Mets. Beltran and Murphy hit two-run doubles in the big second off Casey Coleman (2-4) and Berg.
Padres 3, Cardinals 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chase Headley doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading Mat Latos and San Diego over St. Louis, ending the Padres’ season-worst losing streak at five games.
The Cardinals had won four in a row. San Diego, which has the NL’s worst home record at 8-20, scored more than two runs for the first time in nine games.
Latos (2-6) pitched eight strong innings, allowing one run and six hits while striking out seven. Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
It was 1-all in the eighth when Jason Bartlett reached on a two-out infield single, his third hit of the game. Headley followed with his tiebreaking double, continued to third on shortstop Tyler Greene’s error and scored on Ryan Ludwick’s infield single off Chris Carpenter (1-5).
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