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Let's play 19: Phillies edge Reds in marathon

May 26, 2011 - 7:44 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Raul Ibanez's sacrifice fly plated Jimmy Rollins with the winning run in the bottom of the 19th inning, as the Phillies pulled out a 5-4 win against the Reds in a six-hour, 11-minute marathon.

Phillies reserve infielder Wilson Valdez (1-0) worked a scoreless top of the 19th, and was made a rare position player winner after Rollins began the home half with a base hit.

Carlos Fisher (0-1), in his sixth inning of relief, continued to fall apart by walking Domonic Brown. A sacrifice bunt from Placido Polanco moved the runners up, and after Fisher walked Ryan Howard, Ibanez blasted a ball to center field.

"Tried to put a little pressure on him to throw a strike, and he did. And then he came back, he challenged me with another fastball," Ibanez said. "But that was my approach, was to stay calm and put the fat part of the bat on the ball."

Drew Stubbs faded back to catch the ball, but was not nearly in position to make a throw as Rollins crossed the plate.

It was the first run scored since the 10th inning, when Jay Bruce hit a leadoff shot off Antonio Bastardo to put the Reds in front, and when Howard answered with a homer against Francisco Cordero to tie the game.

In the time between the 10th and 19th innings, the game morphed from an everyday regular-season game to an epic. The extra innings featured, among other things:

- Phillies reliever Danys Baez throwing five scoreless innings, something of an amazing feat for a pitcher who hadn't thrown more than three innings since 2002. Baez also threw 73 pitches, nearly double his season high of 40 and a career high as a reliever.

- Valdez making his first major league pitching appearance and becoming the first position player to record a pitching victory since August 22, 2000, when Colorado's Brent Mayne tossed a scoreless inning in the Rockies' 7-6, 12- inning win against Atlanta. Said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel: "That's the first time I've run out of pitchers. I've never done that before."

- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz playing third base.

- Fisher recording career highs in innings pitched (5 2/3) and pitches thrown (95).

- The Reds recording one hit in the final nine innings after posting 14 in the first 10.

The contest was the longest in Citizens Bank Park history and the longest (time-wise) in Reds history. It also matched the longest game between the Phillies and Reds, an 8-7 Phillies win on September 15, 1950.

It was two innings away from matching the longest game in franchise history for both clubs, and was the longest game of the 2011 major league season.

By the time Ibanez sent the game-winning drive into the center field air in the 19th, it was hard to remember the early-inning twists and turns.

The Phillies had built a 3-0 lead after two innings against Reds starter Travis Wood.

Rollins led off the home first with a base hit before scoring on Ben Francisco's sixth homer of the season. He drove a full-count pitch over the wall tight to the left-field line to put Philadelphia on the board.

The Phillies added another run in the second, when John Mayberry Jr. fisted a single to left-center, allowing Ruiz to scamper home just ahead of the throw.

Cincinnati cracked the scoreboard in the fifth after pressuring Roy Halladay for the first four frames. Stubbs led off with a single, stole second and scored on Joey Votto's base hit.

The Reds had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, after pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo and Stubbs singled, then moved into scoring position on a bunt. Halladay intentionally walked Votto and struck out Scott Rolen, but couldn't escape the jam -- Bruce drove home two runs with a single to right, making it a 3-3 contest.

Philadelphia had a chance to win the game in its last at-bat, loading the bases with one out, but Brown popped out to the catcher and Polanco grounded out.

Bruce appeared to put the Reds in position to win the game in the 10th, driving Bastardo's offering into the first row over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Howard answered with a titanic shot into the shrubs over the dead-center-field wall to continue the contest.

Continue, and continue and continue it did.

Though, the Reds did rally in the 11th, when Kyle Kendrick hit Brandon Phillips and J.C. Romero walked Votto. But Romero picked Phillips off at second base -- a valuable out, considering he then walked Rolen.

David Herndon entered and walked Bruce to fill the bases, but got Ramon Hernandez to ground back to the mound, ending the threat.

The Reds didn't get another good opportunity to push runners across. Herndon worked a perfect 12th and 13th before Baez took over and allowed only one hit and one walk.

Cincinnati's bullpen was almost just as good in the extra frames. Logan Ondrusek tossed two perfect innings before Fisher took over in the 14th, and held the Phillies off the board for five innings.

Valdez gave Philadelphia some life in the 18th, when he doubled with two away. Michael Martinez followed with a liner to left, but Chris Heisey was there to make the catch.

However, Valdez really stepped into the spotlight in the next frame, when he got Votto to fly out leading off. Valdez hit Rolen, but rebounded to get Bruce to fly out to center. A Fisher pop out ended a successful inning for Valdez, who threw fastballs in the upper-80 m.p.h. range.

"You'd like to get something going against him, but we didn't," Bruce said. "He actually had okay stuff."

Valdez said he just wanted to throw strikes, and was ready to go "four or five" innings. It turned out that he didn't have to pitch that much, or even two or three innings. But the one inning he did throw, well, it was certainly good enough.

Game Notes

The Phillies have won two of the first three games of this four-game set...The Reds have dropped seven of their last eight overall...Halladay pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits and one walk, while striking out six...In six innings, Wood gave up three runs, six hits and walked three, while fanning two...Bruce and Valdez both recorded a game-high three hits...The teams combined to leave 33 runners on base and went 4-for-28 with runners in scoring position...Philadelphia starter Joe Blanton, currently on the disabled list, visited with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the club's original diagnosis of right elbow inflammation. Blanton is expected to begin a throwing program in 3-4 weeks.