PITTSBURGH (AP)—The San Diego Padres lost a home run and a nasty argument during a combative 11th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. What they didn’t lose was a game they appeared to have little chance of winning until the ninth inning.
Mike Cameron hit a go-ahead homer in the 11th inning after tying it with a run-scoring double in the ninth, and the Padres overcame a disputed call taking away a home run in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
“That was big, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Cameron said of his 200th career homer.
The Padres rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the ninth to win despite a dominating outing by Pirates starter Shawn Chacon, who shut them out on three hits over seven innings.
Cameron led off the 11th with his fifth homer, a drive into the right-field seats off reliever Josh Sharpless (0-1), making his third appearance since being called up from the minors. Josh Bard followed two pitches later with another drive that appeared to reach the right-field seats for his second homer.
Bard took his home run trot and put his catching gear back on, only to have Joe West’s umpiring crew reverse the call after Pirates manager Jim Tracy successfully argued the drive struck a thin metal railing above the right-field wall and did not leave the park.
The reversal changing it to a double caused Bard to race off the bench and start yelling at the umpires—a burst of anger similar to that by Kansas City’s George Brett when he lost a 1983 homer against the Yankees when too much pine tar was detected on his bat. Bard chased the umpires from second base to first, getting ejected along the way by plate umpire Ed Rapuano, and Padres manager Bud Black also was ejected for arguing.
“The ball was clearly in play,” West said. “We signaled a little too quickly, but when we got together we all realized the right call wasn’t a home run.”
After reviewing video tape, Bard and Black realized that, too.
“I ran around the bases, I thought it was a home run,” Bard said. “My intent wasn’t to go out and go after anybody. But after looking at the video, they got the call right. I made a mistake.”
Black said, “From our view in the dugout, it looked as if it was way out. But I was able to look at four or five different replays after that and it looked as if the umpires made a good call.”
The question now is whether Bard will get suspended for possibly bumping an umpire.
“It’s a hard-nosed game, and sometimes you lose your cool a little bit,” Bard said.
Chacon outpitched Greg Maddux before San Diego came back to tie in the ninth against closer Salomon Torres on RBI doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Cameron. Cameron had extra-base hits in each of his final three at-bats.
Torres had been scored upon only once in his previous 12 appearances, only to have a performance reminiscent of his early season problems, when he was in jeopardy of losing his closer’s job after losing once and blowing three saves in span of six appearances.
“I’m very aggravated because we had this game,” Torres said. “I had him (Gonzalez) 0-and-2 and I gave him a rookie-ball 0-2 pitch. That was not acceptable.”
Torres’ ineffectiveness cost Chacon a victory in only his second start since after replacing Tony Armas in the Pirates’ rotation. Chacon struck out the first four batters and six of the first eight in what would have been his first victory as a starter since Sept. 20—when he beat Maddux, who was then with the Dodgers.
“You couldn’t have asked for anything else, the job he did,” Tracy said. “That’s a tough game to lose.”
Maddux couldn’t get his 338th career victory despite limiting the Pirates to two runs over 6 2-3 innings, mostly because Chacon—who has 298 fewer career wins than Maddux—pitched better. That was a rarity during May for a starter opposing the Padres as their starters went 14-5 with a 2.20 ERA for the month.
Heavy rain, accompanied by numerous lightning strikes, delayed the start by 47 minutes. … Bay has 14 RBIs in his last 12 games. … San Diego was 18-9 in May, the Pirates were 11-18. … The Pirates have won only one of nine home series. … San Diego’s No. 5 hitters were 0-for-30 over eight games until Bard singled in the second. … Black was ejected for the first time as San Diego’s manager.