NL East wrap: Marlins top Giants in (only) 12

NL East wrap: Marlins top Giants in (only) 12
May 25, 2011, 10:06 pm
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Posted: 6:05 p.m. Updated: May 26, 3:45 a.m.
The Associated Press

Marlins 7, Giants 6 (12 Innings)


SAN FRANCISCO -- Scott Cousins went to college at the University of San Francisco. He lives in the Bay Area, and he had almost a dozen friends and family at AT&T Park on Wednesday night to witness the biggest moment of his professional career.

"I don't know if I'm going to be welcomed home as much any more," he said.

Cousins scored the go-ahead run in a brutal collision with catcher Buster Posey at home in the 12th inning, injuring the Giants star as the Florida Marlins beat San Francisco 7-6.

The Marlins blew a four-run lead in the ninth, setting up the play at the plate that sent Posey for X-rays on his left ankle.

Emilio Bonifacio hit a shallow fly ball to right-center off Guillermo Mota (2-1) for the second out. Cousins tagged from third base on the sacrifice fly, beating the throw from Nate Schierholtz and lowering his shoulder to slam into Posey for a clean -- albeit cringing -- hit on the reigning NL Rookie of the Year.

Posey's mask went flying in the collision to his chest. Cousins was safe as Posey never could quite corral the ball.

"I felt like he was blocking the dish. It's the go-ahead run to win the game, I got to do whatever I can to score," Cousins said. "I'm not trying to end anybody's season or anything like that. I just was trying to play hard and score the go-ahead run. He didn't say much and you could tell he was in pain.

"And when their manager, when Bruce (Bochy) came out, he was pretty frustrated. I didn't want to make things any more tense."

Posey lay dazed, writhing in pain and curling up in a ball for several minutes as the ballpark fell silent. After several minutes, with fans chanting "Posey! Posey!" he was helped off the field by two team trainers holding his left leg and looking stunned.

There was no immediate update on the severity of Posey's injury. Bochy, a former catcher, didn't believe the play was dirty but said it was difficult to watch.

"It's the toughest play in baseball. You hate to see it," Bochy said. "As a catcher you know what it's like, and you don't like it. Believe me. When I see him laying there, it's certainly not a good feeling."

Said Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez: "It was a tough play at home. Posey was doing his job blocking the plate and the runner doing his job, he was trying to get to get to home plate."

All this after the Giants batted around in the ninth to score four runs and force extra innings. Ryan Webb (1-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

Braves 4, Pirates 2 (11 Innings)


PITTSBURGH -- Chipper Jones was concerned when saw Brooks Conrad take to the on-deck circle in the seventh inning.

"I was like, 'That's a mistake,'" the 19-year Atlanta Braves veteran said. "'We need to keep him for later.'"

Conrad came through once again after manager Fredi Gonzalez waited for a bigger stage to insert him into the game.

Conrad hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the 11th inning and Atlanta topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Wednesday.

The homer, into a sliver of seats in right-center with pinch-runner Wilkin Ramirez on first and one out, was Conrad's fifth career pinch-hit homer.

"He came up in the perfect spot and did what we all know he can," Jones said.

Eric Hinske also had a solo homer for the Braves, who have won three of four and got a strong outing from rookie Mike Minor in a spot start for Tim Hudson.

Steve Pearce homered for the first time in 20 months and went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for Pittsburgh, which has lost three straight.

Five of Conrad's 11 career home runs have been on pinch hits, including three -- two of them grand slams -- last season. He had a walk-off single against St. Louis on May 1, and his only hit since then drove in the tying run with him scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh inning May 18.

"It's just so much fun, especially in the pinch-hit role, getting up there with the game on the line and you've got a chance to drive in the winning run for your team," Conrad said.

Mets 7, Cubs 4


CHICAGO -- Dillon Gee had trouble getting a grip. His problems, though, hardly compared to those of Cubs reliever Justin Berg.

Gee recovered from a wild start while Berg never found the strike zone on a raw, messy Wednesday night as the New York Mets beat Chicago 7-4 in a rain-shortened game.

The game was called with two outs in the top of the seventh inning after a 41-minute delay. It was 47 degrees for the first pitch with a fierce northern wind blowing in from Lake Michigan, and a fog set in around Wrigley Field and kept growing thicker.

"I don't remember a spring where it's been this bad," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

It was particularly bad for Berg, who took over for Casey Coleman (2-4) during the Mets' five-run second inning. Berg came in with runners on second and third and threw 12 pitches -- all balls. His three walks forced home two runs.

"You got to get people out and you got to throw strikes," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Unfortunately, they weren't able to do either."

"And Bergie has to get on the glove, that's all," he said. "You can't walk people."

Gee (4-0) walked two while allowing four runs in the first, but bounced back to throw five scoreless innings and retire 16 of the last 18 batters he faced.

"I had no feel out there in the first inning," Gee said. "I don't know if I was really prepared for the game, or trying to get adjusted to the weather. All the credit goes to the rest of the team for digging me out of that hole."
Brewers 6, Nationals 4


MILWAUKEE -- One of the reasons Zack Greinke accepted a trade to Milwaukee was because he wanted to be able to hit on a regular basis. He loves discussing hitting with everyone.

Turns out, he can back up all that chatter, too.

Greinke hit the go-ahead homer and struck out 10 over seven innings, leading the Brewers to a 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday for their season-best sixth straight victory.

"I talk about it all the time," said Greinke, who rarely got chances to hit when he was in the AL in Kansas City. "It's more fun playing (this) way, I like it, it feels like you're doing more in the game."

Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Brewers, who are the hottest team in baseball over the last two weeks with 13 wins in 16 games.

They've also been dominant at Miller Park with nine consecutive victories at home -- one short of their franchise-best mark set in 1979 -- after completing sweeps of Pittsburgh, Colorado and Washington.

"I felt all along our team would go on a roll somewhere," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I didn't know where it would be or when it would be."

Michael Morse hit his third homer in three days for the Nationals, who limped home on a season-worst five-game skid.

"It was a terrible road trip. We were 1-7. That's a bad road trip," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said.

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