Jonathan Broxton's errant pitch and Jonny Gomes' ribcage made history on Wednesday.
In what was literally the wildest ending to a baseball game in almost 50 years, the Kansas City closer hit Oakland rookie Yoenis Cespedes to load the bases in the bottom of the 12th inning. Broxton then plunked Gomes just a few moments later for a walkoff hit-by-pitch, a blown save and a 5-4 A's victory at Oakland Coliseum. It was the first time in 46 years that a game ended with two straight batters being hit with pitches.
"It started out good but I just didn't have it,'' said Broxton, who began the inning with a strikeout before getting into trouble with two traditional walks. ''One was a sinker and one was a four-seam fastball.''
It's not often that a baseball game ends with just one person being hit by a baseball, of course. The Baseball Reference Play Index counts only 56 previous instances since 1948 that a game ended with a hit by pitch. Of those 56, only one ended with a pitcher hitting two straight batters. That game happened on Sept. 2, 1966 when Baltimore's Stu Miller hit Chicago's Al Weis and Tommie Agee to hand the White Sox a win.
The history making doesn't end there, though, because it would seem that Gomes has a knack for sacrificing his body for the greater good. Gomes also won a game as a member of the Washington Nationals last August after being hit by Brad Lidge, then a member of the Phillies. Wednesday's assault makes him the only player since at least 1948 to win two games by being hit with a pitch.
''Been there, done that,'' Gomes told reporters after the game. "You can hit me four times if we win."
Watch the play here:
And here we thought two small teammates fitting into one pair of Broxton's pants would be the season's most embarrassing moment for the former Dodgers reliever.
The small pizza-eating crowd at the Coliseum celebrated the extra innings win, but they probably weren't the only ones left with warm fuzzies. Though Broxton will likely get a few more chances to retain the Royals closer role, those fantasy owners holding on to Greg Holland have to feel a little more hopeful. The setup reliever pitched two perfect innings on Wednesday, striking out three batters and, perhaps more importantly, hitting none.
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