Braves walk off with 10-9 victory
ATLANTA — Brooks Conrad slowed up as he rounded first base, unsure if his drive had cleared the left-field wall to give the Atlanta Braves an improbable victory.
Then he saw Laynce Nix swat at his empty glove in frustration.
The ball went over. Game over.
Conrad hit a pinch-hit grand slam yesterday to finish off a seven-run ninth inning that gave the Braves a 10-9 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, who fell out of first in the NL Central and can only hope the stunning loss doesn't leave a hangover on their surprisingly strong start.
"It was a horrible ending," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who appeared close to breaking down after the game. "Boy, that was a tough one."
The Braves put together the biggest ninth-inning comeback since Cleveland rallied from six runs down against Tampa Bay on May 25, 2009, according to STATS LLC.
"I hit it and I was kind of talking to it to get out of there and I saw (Nix) jump up," Conrad said. "From my angle ... it looked like he kind of brought it back. I put my hands to my helmet and said, 'No way he caught that.' "
"I thought I had it," Nix said. "It just bounced out."
Atlanta fell behind 8-0 against rookie sensation Mike Leake and was still down 9-3 heading to the ninth. Four straight hits, including Nate McLouth's two-run single, gave the Braves hope. A walk to David Ross loaded the bases with no outs, bringing the potential tying run to the plate.
Martin Prado hit a grounder to third that looked like a sure double play, but Miguel Cairo couldn't get the ball out of his glove — Cincinnati's fourth error of the game. Jason Heyward struck out against Arthur Rhodes on a 3-2 pitch, and Cincinnati turned to closer Francisco Cordero (1-3) for the last two outs.
Instead, Conrad hit a drive that deflected off Nix's glove as he reached over the top of the wall at the 380-foot sign. Standing near the mound, Cordero ripped out his jersey and looked toward the dugout in disbelief.
The Braves won their third straight game in the final at-bat, beating the Reds 5-4 with Heyward's ninth-inning double Wednesday. Atlanta has won eight of 10 to climb above .500 (21-20) for the first time since April 22.
CARDINALS 4, MARLINS 2
Adam Wainwright (6-2) allowed two first-inning runs, but settled down to go seven innings and allow six hits, and Matt Holliday got his first two RBIs in four games since moving to third to lead host St. Louis past Florida.
PHILLIES 5, CUBS 4
Raul Ibanez broke a 4-all tie with an RBI single in the eighth inning, Jimmy Rollins hit a three-run homer and Chase Utley also went deep as host Philadelphia beat Chicago. Kosuke Fukudome hit a tying solo shot in the eighth for the Cubs.
BREWERS 4, PIRATES 3
George Kottaras doubled in the tying run and Adam Stern had a run-scoring ground out to cap a two-run top of the fourth as Milwaukee rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Pittsburgh and end a nine-game losing streak.
METS 10, NATIONALS 7
David Wright hit a three-run double and had four RBIs, and Raul Valdes (2-1), who replaced starter John Maine (shoulder problem) in the first inning, gave three runs and seven hits over five innings as visiting New York defeated Washington.
ROCKIES 4, ASTROS 0
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-1) allowed one hit over seven innings, Matt Belisle and Manny Corpus each allowed a hit to finish off the three-hitter, and Troy Tulowitzki had a three-run homer to help visiting Colorado end a three-game losing streak.
DODGERS 4, PADRES 1
Clayton Kershaw (4-2) allowed a run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings to win his third straight start and Garret Anderson delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to trigger a three-run bottom of the sixth to lead Los Angeles over San Diego.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, GIANTS 7
Mark Reynolds hit his 100th career home run and had three RBIs, and Conor Jackson scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help Arizona complete a two-game sweep of San Francisco.
MARINERS 4, BLUE JAYS 3
Ken Griffey Jr.'s game-winning, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a three-run rally off AL saves leader Kevin Gregg (0-1) as Seattle beat Toronto to snap a five-game losing streak. Gregg has 12 saves in 14 chances.
ROYALS 9, INDIANS 3
Luke Hochevar (4-2) gave up four hits in his third career complete game to finally beat Cleveland after losing three straight starts to the Indians, and Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer to lead host Kansas City out of last place in the AL Central.
TIGERS 5, ATHLETICS 2
Jeremy Bonderman (2-2) allowed a run and three hits over six innings, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Magglio Ordonez contributed a two-run single as visiting Detroit beat Oakland to win for the fourth time in five games.
RAYS 8, YANKEES 6
Carlos Pena homered twice, Ben Zobrist and B.J. Upton also connected, and James Shields (5-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings as visiting Tampa Bay won its sixth straight with a two-game sweep of New York.
RED SOX 6, TWINS 2
Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer and added an RBI double in support of Jon Lester (4-3), who allowed two runs — one earned — six hits and no walks in setting down Minnesota for his fifth career complete game.
RANGERS 13, ORIOLES 7
Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer and drove in four runs in his first career four-hit game, and Matt Treanor added a three-run homer in a five-run eighth as host Texas outslugged Baltimore for its fourth straight victory.
ANGELS 6, WHITE SOX 5
Ervin Santana (3-3) gave up a run on seven hits in seven innings, and Juan Rivera hit a two-run homer as visiting Los Angeles held on to beat Chicago. The White Sox had closed to 6-5 by rallying for four runs on three hits off reliever Kevin Jepsen in the eighth inning.