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January 25, 2013

April 24, 1984 - Astros Walk Home in 12

Game #213 - Houston Astros, 7 @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 6 (12 Innings)

A good nail biter with this game!

The Astros had a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Rick Honeycutt let things get out of hand.  Honeycutt, despite having a sub 3.00 ERA in 1984 and being rated "2-7" in Statis Pro, has been rocked all season long.  Houston pitcher Mike LaCoss poked a single, and Jerry Mumphrey and Phil Garner also reached to load the bases for Jose Cruz.  Despite the leftie vs. leftie advantage, Jose smashed a grand slam to give the Astros a 5-0 lead.  Honeycutt only lasted another inning.

The Dodgers mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth.  Pinch hitter Candy Maldonado hit a RBI single, and an outfield error by Cruz led to four runs being scored in total.  In the bottom of the fifth LA took the lead when Greg Brock bonked a two-run homer, making it 6-5 in favor of the Dodgers.

Things stayed the same until the top of the eighth.  Jerry Reuss was on in relief but gave up back to back doubles to Ray Knight and Jim Pankovits.  The score was tied!  An uneventful 9th inning had both teams headed to extra-innings.

Tom Niedenfuer was pitching his second inning in the top of the 10th when he hit Kevin Bass with a pitch with two outs.  A Niedenfuer error had runners on the corners after the next batter, but he managed to get Pankovits to line out to end the threat.  Bill Russell lined a single off of reliever Dave Smith to start the bottom half of the inning.  The next two batters lined out right back at Smith, but the the third hitter, Candy Maldonado, roped a double to center!  Russell got on his horse, determined to score from first, but Jose Cruz rifled a throw to nail him at the plate.  On to the 11th!

Niedenfuer was now working his third inning of relief.  Lead off hitter Harry Spilman singled and moved to second on a walk by Mumphrey.  Craig Reynolds popped up to the catcher for the first out, and Cruz struck out to make it two outs.  Enos Cabell stepped up next and launched a single to center field.  Spilman was off, heading for home plate, but Candy Maldonado recorded his own assist and caught Spilman before he scored.  Astros reliever Julio Solano worked out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the inning to push it to the twelfth!

(Any game past eleven innings is a nightmare for me, because it exceeds the box score worksheet I use...)

Pat Zachry was now pitching for the Dodgers, working on short rest.  The fatigue must have gotten to him, because he ended up with the bases loaded with two outs.  Then something kind of anti-climactic happened:  Zachry walked Mumphrey to score the winning run.  It was Mumph's fourth (!) walk of the game.  Solano got a 1-2-3 bottom of the twelfth to preserve the win.

Winning Pitcher - Julio Solano
Losing Pitcher - Pat Zachry
Player of the Game - Joe Sambito.  The Houston bullpen worked 7 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Sambito, Smith and Solano all have 0.00 ERA's on the season so far.  Sambito went 2 1/3, allowing zero runners and striking out one, including coming in and getting R.J. Reynolds to ground out with the bases loaded.

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