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Cincinnati «00300001001581

Reds' LaRue hits walk-off homer in 11th vs. Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Jason LaRue's meaningful moments have been few and far between this season. The timing on his latest was perfect.

LaRue's one-out homer in the 11th inning sent the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night and tightened the NL playoff race.

When it looked like Cincinnati was about to fade away, LaRue provided a win that kept the Reds thinking there's still enough time to elbow their way back to the front of the pack of contenders.

"It's been that way all year," manager Jerry Narron said. "Every time the wheels start to fall off, we come back and win a couple. This is a league of runs, and we're capable of putting together a solid run."

Cincinnati won for only the fifth time in its last 16 games, moving 2½ games behind San Diego for the NL wild card. Four teams are now bunched within 2½ games of the Padres.

"You'd figure at this point you'd be getting some clear scenarios for some teams, but that's just not the case," said San Diego's Mike Piazza, who hit a solo homer. "We just have to hang in there. Teams can pick up ground or lose ground quickly."

LaRue had an awkward swing-and-miss on the first pitch from Doug Brocail (2-2), then connected on the next pitch for his eighth homer. LaRue, batting only .180, got into the three-hour, 34-minute game in the late innings.

Scott Schoeneweis (1-0) escaped a threat in the 10th to get the win.

Sensing the importance of the series, the Reds offered half-price tickets and $1 hot dogs, hoping to draw big crowds. They sold only 15,820 tickets for the opener, which started on time after a daylong rain.

"People talk about how this is the biggest series of the year, but it's not going to mean anything if we win the series and then (self-destruct) the rest of the way," LaRue said.

Both starters were out of the game after five innings, leaving it up to the bullpens.

Padres right-hander Chris Young got a no-decision that preserved his unbeaten streak on the road. Young left for a pinch-hitter during a three-run rally that put San Diego up 4-3 in the sixth inning.

Rich Aurilia hit a three-run homer off Young, who is 6-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 13 road starts this season. Young, obtained in an offseason trade with Texas, hasn't lost in his last 22 road starts, the longest such streak in the majors since Greg Maddux went 22 without a loss in 1997-98.

Reds starter Eric Milton left the game after five innings because of a stiff left elbow. For the third time in his last five starts, the bullpen cost him a victory. Terrmel Sledge's pinch-hit single off Rheal Cormier completed the three-run rally that put the Padres up 4-3 in the sixth.

Scott Linebrink gave up a tying run in the eighth, when Edwin Encarnacion scored from third while the Padres futilely tried to turn a double play on Brandon Phillips' grounder. Encarnacion stole third base to set up the run, barely beating the throw.

"That was a bold move, and it was a turning point in the game," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I thought we had him. Obviously, we didn't. It was a real close play and he just got in there."

Padres reliever Cal Meredith escaped a bases-loaded threat in the sixth and extended an impressive streak of his own. The right-hander hasn't been scored upon in his last 28 appearances spanning 33 2/3 innings, a club record.

Notes

  • Piazza's homer was the 418th of his career. Next on the list is Billy Williams in 38th place with 426.
  • Piazza leads major league catchers with 21 homers.
  • The top three batters in San Diego's order went 0-for-14.
  • Adrian Gonzalez tied his career high with four hits.
  • CF Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the Reds lineup for the sixth straight game because of a dislocated toe.
  • Adam Dunn struck out twice, raising his NL-leading total to 171 -- the second-highest of his career. Dunn fanned a major league-record 195 times in 2004.
  • The Reds topped 2 million in attendance for the third time in their four seasons at Great American Ball Park.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jason LaRue receives his propers after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th.  (AP)
Jason LaRue receives his propers after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

R. Aurilia
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
San Diego

A. Gonzalez
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
 
San Diego Padres
Mike Cameron, CF5000111
Brian Giles, RF4000201
Josh Barfield, 2B5000112
Mike Piazza, C4121010
    Rob Bowen, C2000012
Ben Johnson, LF4120011
   a- Dave Roberts, PH-LF1000000
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5141001
    Russell Branyan, 3B0000000
Mark Bellhorn, 3B-1B4000104
Manny Alexander, SS1000102
   b- Paul McAnulty, PH1111000
    Cla Meredith, P0000000
    Alan Embree, P0000000
   c- Jon Knott, PH1000001
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000
    Jon Adkins, P0000000
   d- Todd Walker, PH0000000
   e- Josh Bard, PH1000002
    Doug Brocail, P0000000
Chris Young, P2000022
   f- Terrmel Sledge, PH1011000
    Geoff Blum, SS2000000
Totals4341046719 
a-grounded out for Johnson in the 10th
b-doubled for Alexander in the 6th
c-flied out for Embree in the 8th
d-announced for Adkins in the 10th
e-grounded out for Walker in the 10th
f-singled for C. Young in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ben Johnson (, Milton), Adrian Gonzalez (, Franklin), Paul McAnulty (, Franklin)
HR - Mike Piazza (, Milton)
RBI - Mike Piazza (), Adrian Gonzalez (), Paul McAnulty (), Terrmel Sledge ()
2-OUT RBI - Paul McAnulty (), Terrmel Sledge ()
SB - Mike Cameron (, 2nd base off Schoeneweis/LaRue)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Barfield-Blum-Gonzalez
E - Manny Alexander (, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
Chris Young 5233271
Cla Meredith (H,) 1.2200110
Alan Embree (H,) 0.1000000
Scott Linebrink (BS,) 1211010
Jon Adkins 1100100
Doug Brocail (L,-) 1.1111111
IBB - Dunn by Cla Meredith
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 74-48, Cla Meredith 32-20, Alan Embree 6-4, Scott Linebrink 19-13, Jon Adkins 13-6, Doug Brocail 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 2-7, Cla Meredith 3-1, Scott Linebrink 1-1, Jon Adkins 2-0, Doug Brocail 2-1
Batters Faced - Chris Young 20, Cla Meredith 8, Alan Embree 1, Scott Linebrink 5, Jon Adkins 4, Doug Brocail 6
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF4110110
Scott Hatteberg, 1B5000003
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000
Rich Aurilia, SS-1B5113011
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4120101
Adam Dunn, LF3010221
Brandon Phillips, 2B5011011
Norris Hopper, RF2000010
   a- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-RF2000014
    David Weathers, P0000000
    Juan Castro, SS1000000
David Ross, C2000010
   b- Javier Valentin, PH-C2010013
    Chris Denorfia, PR0000000
    Jason LaRue, C1111000
Eric Milton, P0100100
   c- Brendan Harris, PH1000010
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000
   d- Ray Olmedo, PH1000000
    Bill Bray, P0000000
    Dewayne Wise, RF0000000
Totals3858551014 
a-lined out for Hopper in the 6th
b-struck out for Ross in the 6th
c-struck out for Milton in the 5th
d-grounded out for Coffey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Freel (, C. Young), Edwin Encarnacion (, Meredith)
HR - Rich Aurilia (, C. Young), Jason LaRue (, Brocail)
SH - Dewayne Wise ()
RBI - Rich Aurilia 3 (), Brandon Phillips (), Jason LaRue ()
2-OUT RBI - Rich Aurilia 3 ()
SB - Scott Hatteberg (, 2nd base off C. Young/Piazza), Edwin Encarnacion (, 3rd base off Linebrink/Bowen)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Edwin Encarnacion (, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton 5411231
Ryan Franklin (BS,) 0.2333010
Rheal Cormier 0.2100000
Todd Coffey 0.2000010
Bill Bray 1100000
David Weathers 1.2100210
Scott Schoeneweis (W,-) 1.1000210
IBB - Alexander by Eric Milton, Barfield by Scott Schoeneweis
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 85-53, Ryan Franklin 21-13, Rheal Cormier 4-4, Todd Coffey 7-4, Bill Bray 9-7, David Weathers 39-18, Scott Schoeneweis 24-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 6-6, Rheal Cormier 1-1, Todd Coffey 1-0, Bill Bray 2-1, David Weathers 2-2, Scott Schoeneweis 2-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 21, Ryan Franklin 5, Rheal Cormier 3, Todd Coffey 2, Bill Bray 4, David Weathers 8, Scott Schoeneweis 6
Game Information
Attendance - 15820
Game Time - 3:34
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg