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Pena's walk-off blast propels D-Backs past Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Knowing the book is to throw nothing but breaking pitches at him, Wily Mo Pena went up looking for one against Tony Sipp in the ninth inning and took a mighty swing.

Whoosh! He missed.

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Figuring that Pena would keep swinging through those slow benders, Sipp offered up another breaking ball.

Whack! Over the fence.

Feeling more comfortable against breaking balls, Pena hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks recover after J.J. Putz's second successive shaky outing to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Tuesday night.

"Everybody saw the first swing that I took, it was so hard because I was looking for a breaking pitch," Pena said. "The second one, I said hey, let him bring it up. That's what he did and I was able to get it."

Out of the big leagues for more than two years before being called up on June 21, Pena had hit a couple of mammoth home runs, including one that went an estimated 454 feet against Detroit last week. But with the home runs have come some wild swings, mostly on breaking pitches, leading to 11 strikeouts in 24 at-bats.

Relegated to pinch-hitting duties after spending some time as designated hitter, Pena waited for his turn and made the most of it, showing he can hit the breaking ball on occasion by lifting a line-drive homer off Sipp (3-1) over the wall in left that set off a wild celebration at the plate.

"The guy can swing the bat," said Arizona's Ryan Roberts, who did some pitcher-distracting dancing on third base after opening the ninth with a walk and two steals. "He hits homers and he hits the ball a long way."

The Diamondbacks needed it after Putz's latest ninth-inning struggles.

Arizona appeared to be in control after Daniel Hudson's eight strong innings and two big hits by Kelly Johnson.

A .209 hitter coming in, Johnson hit a solo home run off Josh Tomlin in the sixth inning, a tiebreaking RBI single off Rafael Perez in the eighth and later scored on Justin Upton's run-scoring single, putting Arizona up 4-2 heading into the final inning.

Putz couldn't hold it.

The right-hander allowed a two-out home run to Orlando Cabrera in a 5-4 loss to the Indians on Monday night and was in trouble right off the bat Tuesday, walking Cabrera on four pitches to open the ninth. An out later, Carlos Santana tied the game with a towering, two-run homer that curled just inside the foul pole in right.

Putz left to a chorus of boos after giving up a two-out double to Travis Buck and was replaced by Alberto Castillo (1-0), who was brought up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.

Pena got Putz off the hook and gave Castillo the victory after getting just one out with his big swing-and-connect against Cleveland's usually-reliable bullpen.

"We felt we have the advantage with the bullpen and maybe we can win by holding them and scoring a run, but give them credit," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "They got to our bullpen the whole night."

It was relatively quiet before that, thanks to Hudson and Tomlin.

Hudson was solid for the ninth consecutive start, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts.

Tomlin was just as good, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. The right-hander lasted five innings for the 28th consecutive game, matching the major-league record to start a career, set by Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007.

But this wasn't just a battle of arms. The pitchers were wielding their bats, too.

Tomlin had his first career hit in the third inning, dropping down a sacrifice bunt that slipped past Hudson to the third base side. That set up Cleveland's first run, on a double-play grounder by Michael Brantley.

Tomlin went a more conventional route for his second career hit in the fifth inning, ripping a single up the middle for his first career RBI to put the Indians up 2-0. It also was the first RBI by an Indians pitcher since CC Sabathia against the Dodgers on June 21, 2008.

"I didn't go up there trying to do too much," Tomlin said. "I was just trying not to look like an idiot."

Hudson proved to be capable with the bat in the bottom half, fighting off a couple of pitches with two strikes, then lining a run-scoring double down the line in right to make it 2-1.

Johnson finally scored a run a pitcher had nothing to do with, lifting his 13th home run to left to tie it 2 in the sixth, then helped put the Diamondbacks ahead in the eighth with a big hit for the second successive night.

Just like the night before, Putz couldn't come through after Johnson did, but Pena made sure Arizona walked away with a win on a homer that just cleared the wall.

"He made us all look good," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.

Notes

  • Diamondbacks hitting coach Don Baylor turned 62 on Tuesday.
  • Indians CF Grady Sizemore was looked at by team trainers after slamming into the wall on Gerardo Parra's triple in the fifth inning, but remained in the game.
  • Hudson is 3-0 in six career June starts.
 
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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Wily Mo Pena joins the celebration at home plate, after his walk-off homer beats the Indians. (AP)
Wily Mo Pena joins the celebration at home plate, after his walk-off homer beats the Indians. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Santana
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Arizona

K. Johnson
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, LF4000012 .268
Orlando Cabrera, 2B3110110 .247
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4000012 .292
Carlos Santana, C4112001 .225
Grady Sizemore, CF4010020 .226
Travis Buck, RF4010011 .227
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4110011 .375
Shelley Duncan, 1B3110001 .216
Josh Tomlin, P20210001.000
   a- Travis Hafner, PH0000100 .336
    Cord Phelps, PR0000000 .220
    Rafael Perez, P0000000 .000
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Tony Sipp, P0000000 .000
Totals3248327  
a-walked for Tomlin in the 8th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (11, Hudson), Travis Buck (7, Putz), Lonnie Chisenhall (2, Hudson), Shelley Duncan (7, Hudson)
HR - Carlos Santana (11, Putz)
RBI - Carlos Santana 2 (35), Josh Tomlin (1)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Tomlin (1)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (5, 2nd base off Putz/Montero)
Team LOB - 3
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Tomlin 7522041 3.86
Rafael Perez 0.2222000 1.65
Joe Smith0200000 1.03
Tony Sipp (L,3-1) 1122111 2.41
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Tomlin 88-58, Rafael Perez 11-7, Joe Smith 6-4, Tony Sipp 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Tomlin 5-11, Rafael Perez 2-0, Tony Sipp 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Tomlin 25, Rafael Perez 4, Joe Smith 2, Tony Sipp 5
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kelly Johnson, 2B4222021 .213
Stephen Drew, SS4000002 .267
Justin Upton, RF4011000 .305
Chris Young, CF4010010 .257
Miguel Montero, C4010002 .276
Ryan Roberts, 3B3100111 .254
Juan Miranda, 1B3000001 .222
   a- Xavier Nady, PH1000011 .254
Gerardo Parra, LF3230000 .283
   b- Willie Bloomquist, PH1000001 .256
Daniel Hudson, P1011000 .303
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
    Alberto Castillo, P0000000 .000
   c- Wily Mo Pena, PH1112000 .240
Totals33610615  
a-struck out for Miranda in the 9th
b-flied out for Parra in the 9th
c-homered for Castillo in the 9th
Batting
2B - Miguel Montero (21, Tomlin), Daniel Hudson (3, Tomlin)
3B - Gerardo Parra (4, Tomlin)
HR - Kelly Johnson (13, Tomlin), Wily Mo Pena (3, Sipp)
SH - Daniel Hudson 2 (6)
RBI - Kelly Johnson 2 (34), Justin Upton (42), Daniel Hudson (7), Wily Mo Pena 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton (19), Daniel Hudson (5), Wily Mo Pena 2 (4)
SB - Chris Young (10, 2nd base off Sipp/Santana), Ryan Roberts 2 (11, 2nd base off Sipp/Santana, 3rd base off Sipp/Santana)
PK - Daniel Hudson (1, Tomlin)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Drew-Miranda, Drew-Miranda, Miranda-Drew
PB - Miguel Montero (3)
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Daniel Hudson 8622150 3.49
J.J. Putz (BS,4) 0.2222111 3.12
Alberto Castillo (W,1-0) 0.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Hudson 110-70, J.J. Putz 21-10, Alberto Castillo 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Hudson 7-9
Batters Faced - Daniel Hudson 28, J.J. Putz 5, Alberto Castillo 1
Game Information
Attendance - 27076
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - Tim Welke