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San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo was a little off on Saturday afternoon, and the Atlanta Braves took full advantage. For the first time in 176 appearances — the longest such streak in baseball dating back to Aug. 28, 2010 — Romo issued multiple walks. That helped turn a precarious 5-4 ninth inning lead for the Giants into a dramatic 6-5 walk-off win for the Braves .
After striking out Ramiro Pena to start the inning, Romo walked Atlanta’s pinch-hitting ace-in-the-hole, Evan Gattis. An unlikely error by the usually sure-handed Brandon Crawford would set the Braves up with two baserunners, and then Jason Heyward singled to load them up. That set up a confrontation with Justin Upton that Romo ended up losing after a borderline 3-2 slider was ruled ball four. From the outside looking in, it was a tough pitch to take and even gutsier pitch to throw, but Upton got the call.
After pinch-runner Reed Johnson trotted home with the tying run, Freddie Freeman would step in and deliver the winner when he pulled a 1-1 fastball into right for a clean single. It was a terrific piece of hitting, but the talk after the game went back to the 3-2 pitch against Upton. Here’s more from Charles Odum of the Associated Press.
”It was a close pitch but I obviously think it’s a ball,” Upton said. ”Pitchers want that pitch. It went my way.”
Asked about the 3-2 pitch, Romo said ”It really doesn’t matter what I think. The outcome of the game is already settled.”
Romo said he didn’t let the walk affect his concentration against Freeman.
”I was fine,” he said. ”I had to focus. We were still in the game. Although they tied the game we still had an opportunity to keep playing. You got to dig down deep right there and stay focused.”
When people say it’s a game of inches, they aren’t lying. Tomorrow that same pitch could go the other way.
Rockies offense stays hot despite Tulo’s absence: Though Josh Rutledge — Troy Tulowitzki’s replacement — finished 0 for 6, the Colorado Rockies received multi-hit games from seven different players — including starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood — as they snapped a six-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Phillies with a commanding 10-5 victory. The Rockies did the majority of their damage in the first inning, scoring six times on seven hits, and were finished scoring by the fourth. Catcher Wilin Rosario and rookie third basemen Nolan Arenado led the way with three hits and two RBIs each.
Dodgers blow another lead, win anyway in Pittsburgh: I think most of us are catching on to the belief that pitcher wins isn’t nearly as important a stat as we’ve treated it, but that doesn’t mean Clayton Kershaw wouldn’t buy one if they were for sale. The Los Angeles Dodgers ace remained stuck on five on Saturday despite holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run over seven innings. The reason? The Dodgers bullpen — in this case new closer Kenley Jansen — blew its league worst 15th save.
That’s not a good number at all, but there was some salvation this time around. After the Dodgers plated two runs in the 11th to take a 5-3 lead, recently replaced closer Brandon League nailed down his 14th save in the bottom half. That made a win of Peter Moylan, who now has 21 over his eight year career.
Cubs 5, Mets 2: Scott Feldman held New York to two hits over seven innings and contributed an RBI single in the win. Starlin Castro’s two-run double in the eighth locked it down.
Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp each homered as Boston bounced back nicely after being shutout on Friday.
Blue Jays 6, Rangers 1: Toronto extends their winning to four while Texas drops its season worst fifth in a row.
Brewers 6, Reds 0: Yovani Gallardo (six shutout innings) and Juan Francisco (three RBIs) spoiled Dusty Baker’s 64th birthday.
Cardinals 13, Marlins 7: Carlos Beltran homered twice as St. Louis overcame a career worst seven runs allowed by Lance Lynn in five innings. Lynn still won — his ninth — while Clayton Kershaw quietly weeps in Pittsburgh.
Rays 5, Royals 3: Tampa Bay can breathe a sigh of relief after learning Alex Cobb suffered only a mild concussion when struck by Eric Hosmer’s vicious line drive.
Nationals 7, Indians 6: Washington hits five home runs, including Anthony Rendon’s go-ahead blast in the ninth inning.
Twins 6, Tigers 3: After missing three weeks with a left calf strain, Trevor Plouffe returned with three hits and three RBIs to pace Minnesota’s offensive attack.
Angels 6, Yankees 2: It’s the fifth straight loss for the Yankees, but the bigger story is that Mark Teixeira aggravated his wrist injury and is headed back to New York for an examination.
Mariners 4, A’s 0: Henry Blanco’s first grand slam since 2000 provided all of the offense.
Padres 6, Diamondbacks 4: Yasmani Grandal capped a five-run fourth inning with a three-run homer to help San Diego improve to 33-34. They’re only four games back in a packed NL West.
”It’s always nice to beat them. When someone tells you that you can’t play for them and they don’t think you’re good enough there’s a little chip on your shoulder when you play them.”
— Lucas Harrell after he led the Astros to a 4-3 victory over his former team, the Chicago White Sox. He’s now 2-0 in two career starts against them.
Umpire Paul Schrieber and Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole are coming for YOU.
• David Ortiz has multiple triples this season for the first time since 2006.
• With their three consecutive wins over Texas this weekend, Toronto has evened the all-time series at 195-195.
• The Yankees are the first team to lose four straight games scoring exactly two runs in each game since the 2007 Mets.
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