Phillies Win as Schneider Walks Off
Brian Schneider blasted a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Phillies over the Reds, 4-3, in the opener of a four-game series.
Jordan Smith (2-2), in his second inning of relief, got Wilson Valdez on a groundout to start the 12th before grooving an 0-1 changeup to Schneider that was quickly turned on and crushed into the right-field seats for the deciding run.
“That was about the weirdest game I’ve seen in a long time,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Our bullpen did a great job. [Smith] just got a ball up on Schneider.”
Nelson Figueroa (2-1) threw two innings of relief to get the win, Philadelphia’s third in its last nine games. Shane Victorino went 3-for-4 with a solo home run for the victors.
Joey Votto, who on Thursday became the final National League All-Star as chosen by fan voting, hit a solo homer for Cincinnati, which had won three of four coming in.
Neither starter factored in the decision despite quality starts. Philly’s Kyle Kendrick, fresh off his first career complete game, gave up only one run on three hits without walking a batter over 6 2/3 innings, while Johnny Cueto allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits and a pair of walks in seven innings for the Reds.
Votto and Victorino traded solo blasts to right in the first, and the two were involved in an unorthodox play that gave the Phillies a run in the third.
Jimmy Rollins walked with two away and raced around the bases as Victorino grounded to first and incidentally knocked the glove off Cueto’s hand as the pitcher was receiving Votto’s throw to the bag. The ball caromed back to Votto, who nearly caught Victorino drifting off first. A barehanded Cueto, though, mishandled Votto’s toss, leaving Victorino safe as a heads-up Rollins slid in at home.
The Reds ran themselves out of a run in the fifth, as Drew Stubbs popped up a squeeze bunt that was caught by Kendrick, who doubled off Jay Bruce at third.
Cincinnati managed to tie the game on another odd play in the eighth. Ryan Madson, activated off the disabled list before the game, gave up consecutive singles prior to striking out pinch-hitter Chris Heisey for the second out.
The reliever then got Brandon Phillips to chase strike three in the dirt, but the ball got away from Schneider. As the ball was rolling around behind the plate, both Madson and Schneider tried to retrieve it, leaving home plate unoccupied as Stubbs came in to score the tying run.
Wilson Valdez opened the bottom half with a triple to the right-field gap off Nick Masset. All-Star reliever Arthur Rhodes came in following a strikeout and walked pinch-hitter Ben Francisco before Rollins laced a line drive to left that was deep enough to plate Valdez with the go-ahead run.
Brad Lidge was unable to hold on to the slim 3-2 edge in the ninth, as Votto, on third following a double-play ball off the bat of Bruce, scored on Miguel Cairo’s pinch-hit double to left.
Madson had been on the disabled list since April 29 after suffering a broken right great big toe…Votto, who hit his league-leading 22nd home run, garnered 13.7 million votes in the Final Vote contest…Both teams used five relievers…Lidge has three blown saves on the year…Cueto has allowed one earned run or less in his last five starts…Victorino has already tied his career-high with 14 home runs…The Reds had won a franchise-record nine straight extra-inning road games…It was Schneider’s second career walk-off home run…Game time: 3:42.