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.

Andrelton Simmons, Shohei Ohtani both injured in Angels’ loss

Associated Press
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The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.

Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.

Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.