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CIN@PHI: Ibanez ends it in the 19th with a sac fly

PHILADELPHIA -- The starting catcher wound up playing third base and nearly made a spectacular catch while crashing over the tarp in foul ground almost six hours after the game started.

The starting second baseman wound up pitching a scoreless inning with his fastball reaching 90 miles per hour.

Carlos Ruiz caught the first 18 innings and Wilson Valdez picked up his first career win on the mound as the Phillies outlasted the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, in an historic 19-inning game on Wednesday before a sellout crowd of 45,706 at Citizens Bank Park.

At the conclusion of the six-hour, 11-minute marathon -- the longest game in the Major Leagues this season -- less than 10,000 fans remained. Boy were they treated to a fascinating game.

The game concluded at 1:19 a.m. ET.

"To win it like we did -- and it was probably one of the longer ones -- well, to play that long, winning it is a lot better than losing," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

Raul Ibanez finally ended the game with a sacrifice fly to center field in the bottom of the 19th with one out and the bases loaded. Jimmy Rollins trotted home, and the fans that were left in the stands erupted. Ibanez was soon greeted with a shaving cream pie in the face.

"I was just trying to hit a ball hard and get the barrel of the bat on it," Ibanez said. "I was just trying to keep it in the air."

It was the longest Phillies game since a 20-inning affair against the Dodgers on July 7, 1993, and the longest for the Reds since a 19-inning game against the Dodgers on Aug. 8, 1972.

The longest game in Phillies history is still a 21-inning, 2-1 win against the Cubs on July 17, 1918.

"It was a total team effort," said first baseman Ryan Howard, who belted a solo homer in the bottom of the 10th to tie the game at 4.

This game had a little bit of everything.

There were 16 total pitchers used, nine by the Phillies.

Roy Halladay started and went seven innings, giving up 11 hits and three earned runs. Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless inning, and so did Ryan Madson.

Antonio Bastardo pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up a solo homer to Jay Bruce in the top of the 10th before Howard responded with his blast in the bottom of the frame.

Kyle Kendrick got two outs, and J.C. Romero labored in his one-third of an inning by walking three.

But David Herndon and Danys Baez combined to throw 7 1/3 innings while allowing just one hit. Baez was especially fantastic in his five innings, a career high for him out of the bullpen. He threw 73 pitches, struck out three and walked one.

The last time Baez threw five or more innings in a game came as a starter on Aug. 24, 2002, when he went seven innings.

"It was a great feeling," Baez said. "That was a great game. I feel like I had a chance to really contribute, and the fans gave me a dose of extra energy."

Then came the crazy 19th inning, when Ruiz went to third, Placido Polanco to second, Dane Sardinha to catcher and Valdez to the mound.

The fans were cheering louder with every pitch, and especially every out.

Valdez got reigning National League MVP Joey Votto to fly out to deep center. He then hit Scott Rolen on the first pitch before getting Bruce to fly out to center. Valdez, who was throwing his fastball between 88-90 mph, finished the job by getting Reds reliever Carlos Fisher to pop out to Polanco at second.

Valdez pounded his glove with excitement and was later mobbed by his teammates after Ibanez's game-winning sacrifice fly. It was the first time a position player earned a win in the Majors since Brent Mayne of the Rockies faced the Braves on Aug. 22, 2000.

The last player to start a game in the field and earn a win was Babe Ruth on Oct. 1, 1921, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ruth started in left field for the Yankees in that game.

"I like to win," Valdez said. "That's the only thing that matters to me. I don't like to lose."

"It is what it is at that point," Bruce said of losing to Valdez. "Obviously, you'd like to get something going against him, but we didn't. That stuff happens. He actually had OK stuff."

A total of five players had at least eight at-bats, with Drew Stubbs going 2-for-9 for the Reds. Rollins was 2-for-8, while Polanco and Ibanez were 1-for-8.

Crazy night indeed.

It will be a memorable game this season and in Phillies history.

"It was a great, great game," Baez said. "There was a lot of adrenaline out there. There was a lot of support from the fans. That was really fun." Comments