Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Touch 'Em All: Brewers pitcher delivers game-winning hit in pinch

It's not every day that the next day's starting pitcher wins that night's game with his bat.

That improbable ending Tuesday night prevented the Milwaukee Brewers from absorbing another gut-wrenching defeat. With the team out of position players, righthander Yovani Gallardo pinch-hit with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and delivered a game-winning double to beat Baltimore, 7-6, at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

The Orioles knew the Brewers had no position players remaining and had lefthander T.J. McFarland intentionally walk Mark Reynolds to bring Gallardo to the plate. So much for that strategy.

McFarland fell behind, 2-0, in the count and had to come in with a strike. Gallardo pounded it off the wall in left-center to easily score Reynolds and avoid a repeat of the discouraging 10-inning loss to the Orioles on Monday.

And, oh, yeah, Gallardo was the Brewers' scheduled starter for the series finale Wednesday. He won it.

Gallardo had only one hit in 14 at-bats (.071) this season and missed his last start with a sprained left ankle, but he has 12 career home runs and was the obvious choice to hit among the Brewers pitching corps. It was his first base hit as a pinch-hitter.

"I was just trying to get a ball that was out over the plate," said Gallardo. "When he fell behind, 2-0, I just tried to put a good swing on it and see what happens. The pitch wasn't where he wanted it. I was able to make good contact."

"I checked with him and he said he was fine," said manager Ron Roenicke. "He actually ran the bases today before the game [to test the ankle]. Yo has shown over the years he's a really good hitter."

All-star voting

Troy Tulowitzki is atop the National League in just about every offensive category, and now the Rockies shortstop is leading the league in popularity.

The first ballot update for the NL's starting lineup for the July 15 All-Star Game was released Wednesday, and Tulowitzki, with 745,823 votes, has more than a 500,000-vote lead over his nearest competitor. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (640,464) is the only other NL player with more than 600,000 votes, while Tulowitzki's teammate, Charlie Blackmon, leads the outfield voting and is third overall with 549,394.

Darvish back Sunday

Texas ace Yu Darvish arrived at the ballpark Wednesday with his stiff neck feeling better, and the Rangers plan to start him Sunday at Washington.

Darvish was scratched from his start Tuesday night because of a sore neck. An MRI showed nothing to be concerned about, and Darvish went through a workout at Target Field on Wednesday with no problems.

Teixeira sits again

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was out of the lineup for the third straight day because of soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist.

Brian McCann started at first base for the first time in his career and batted cleanup Wednesday night in the finale of an interleague series against the St. Louis Cardinals. McCann had four career innings experience at first base earlier this season in three games.

Shortstop Derek Jeter also was not in the lineup, getting a rest after eight straight starts, with Brendan Ryan getting a spot start.

Crawford on DL

Leftfielder Carl Crawford has been put on the 15-day disabled list by the Dodgers because of a sprained left ankle.

Los Angeles promoted triple-A outfielder Jamie Romak to the majors for the first time. This is Crawford's sixth trip to the DL in 13 big-league seasons.

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