Phillies beat Reds in 19 as infielder Wilson Valdez earns victory

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Wilson Valdez threw a hitless 19th inning and became the first position player since Colorado’s Brent Mayne in 2000 to record a victory as the Phillies beat the Reds 5-4 in 19 innings Wednesday.

The game was the longest in the majors since the Mets edged the Cardinals 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010.

The game was tied 3-3 after nine.  Jay Bruce homered in the top of the 10th, but Ryan Howard came back with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning, denying Francisco Cordero his 300th career save.

Vadez played 18 innings at second base and went 3-for-6 before moving to the mound.   The contest also featured Carlos Ruiz’s second career appearance at third base and two very long relief appearances.

Valdez took over after Danys Baez, the last man in the Philadelphia pen, pitched five scoreless innings.  Reds reliever Carlos Fisher matched Baez, throwing five scoreless innings of his own before giving up a run in his sixth inning of work.  Fisher ended up throwing a whopping 95 pitches in relief.

Working the top of the 19th, Valdez gave up a long shot to center to Joey Votto to begin the inning, but it was hauled in by Manny Martinez.  He then hit Scott Rolen with a pitch before Jay Bruce flied out and Fisher popped out.

The game ended with Raul Ibanez’s sac fly with one out in the bottom of the 19th.

No one had pulled off Valdez’s feat in 11 years.  Mayne was the last to do it, pitching a scoreless 12th inning as the Rockies beat the Braves 7-6 on Aug. 22, 2000.  Rockies manager Buddy Bell managed to run through nine pitchers in 11 innings in that one.

Mariners designate Leonys Martin for assignment

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The Mariners made a handful of roster moves on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. The club optioned pitcher Chase De Jong to Triple-A Tacoma, designated outfielder Leonys Martin for assignment, and recalled first baseman Dan Vogelbach and pitcher Chris Heston from Triple-A.

Martin, 29, struggled to start the season, batting .111/.172/.130 in 58 plate appearances. As Divish noted, Martin was very popular with his teammates in Seattle, so the move was particularly difficult. He is owed the remainder of his $4.85 million salary, making it likely that he’ll clear waivers.

De Jong, 23, struggled in 4 2/3 innings of relief, yielding three runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

Heston, 29, got off to a good start with Tacoma, putting up a 3.18 ERA over his first three starts.

Vogelbach, 24, was hitting .309/.409/.473 with a pair of home runs in 66 PA with Tacoma, encouraging his call-up.

Tom Glavine and Tagg Romney are interested in purchasing the Marlins

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As it turns out, Derek Jeter isn’t the only former major leaguer interested in the Marlins. Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick reports that Hall of Fame hurler Tom Glavine has entered the bidding process as part of a group that includes Tagg Romney and several carefully-selected investors. Soshnick adds that Tagg’s father, Mitt Romney, is not part of the bidding process for the Marlins, though Glavine and Romney’s relationship makes an interesting parallel with Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush’s potential partnership during the sale.

According to an unnamed source, current Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria is said be fielding offers ranging from $1.2 to $1.3 billion. (To put those figures in perspective, the initial purchase price for the team was $158 million in 2002.) Glavine recently spoke to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo about the bidding process, and revealed that he had been involved in talks about a potential bid since last summer. He also expressed a willingness to step into a leadership role with the Marlins, should the opportunity arise:

I certainly want a role. I’m not going to say I’m the GM, but I know the game pretty well. I understand it. There’s a lot on the business side that I don’t understand, so I’m open-minded about what the best role for me would be and what I like to do the most.

On the one hand, I don’t want to be pompous enough to say I want to step in and run this thing, but at the same time I want to be looking for where I would be best served for the organization if it happens.

Glavine and Romney are currently thought to comprise one of three major parties bidding on the Marlins, including Jeter/Bush and Quogue Capital president Wayne P. Rothbaum.