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Rockies emerge victorious in marathon contest

Apr 18, 2008 - 9:19 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Troy Tulowitzki plated the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 22nd inning Thursday night, lifting the Colorado Rockies to a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Willy Taveras reached on a throwing error by Padres shortstop Khalil Greene and advanced to third when catcher Josh Bard made an errant toss while trying to throw out Taveras at second on a steal attempt.

Tulowitzki followed with an RBI double into the gap in left-center field off Glendon Rusch (0-1).

"You're pretty tired out there, your legs are hurting, and standing on your feet playing a game for 22 innings is not easy," Tulowitzki said. "I've been struggling a bit at the plate, but I finally took a good swing. It was good to finally win the game."

In his fourth inning of work, Kip Wells (1-0) allowed a walk and a hit in the bottom of the 22nd but struck out three to seal the win.

The contest, which lasted 6 hours, 16 minutes, was the longest in the major leagues since August 31, 1993, when the Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians, 5-4, in 23 innings.

"It's the longest game that I've managed," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "The job our (pitching) staff did and their staff did was just incredible. It got to the point where I think it actually helped our club, because guys had been grinding and it was a good game to kind of get outside of yourself."

After neither team was able to push across a run in the first 13 frames, Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 14th when Kevin Cameron issued a bases-loaded walk to Brad Hawpe, plating Taveras.

Rockies closer Manny Corpas blew the save in the bottom half, when he allowed an RBI single by Bard with one out.

"I'm tired," Padres right fielder Brian Giles said. "It looked like it (was never going to end) the way it was going. Both teams had plenty of opportunities, and it took 22 innings for someone to get a big hit. Crazy game."

Starters Jake Peavy and Jeff Francis staged the pitchers' duel, with Peavy allowing just four hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts in eight innings and Francis limiting San Diego to three hits and a walk in seven frames while striking out seven.

The Rockies had two near-misses in the ninth inning against all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman. Todd Helton and Matt Holliday hit consecutive pitches to the wall, but both were caught, sending the game to extra innings.

San Diego missed a promising scoring chance when Paul McAnulty, who entered the game in the 10th, doubled to lead off the 12th but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

"That was an incredible baseball game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It will go down as one that I think everybody who was here, fans included, players, staff, will never forget."