Hardy’s single in 11th helps Brewers win 3-2

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—CC Sabathia was his usual dominant self Friday night, but the Milwaukee Brewers needed a clutch hit from shortstop J.J. Hardy to finally get a September win.

The Brewers, trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 in 11 innings on Hardy’s RBI single. The win snapped the Brewers’ four-game losing streak and got them within four games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who lost to Cincinnati on Friday.

“I was just trying to see the ball and hit it hard,” said Hardy, who was 0-for-5 before his game-winning hit. “Every game is important now and it felt good for us to get a win tonight.”

Sabathia, who has not lost in 12 starts since he was acquired by the Brewers on July 7, gave up a run and five hits while striking out nine. He also had two singles and drove in a run.

He left with a 2-1 lead, but Brian Giles tied the game in the eighth inning, hitting reliever Eric Gagne’s second pitch into the right-field seats for his 11th home run, prompting loud boos.

In the 11th inning, backup catcher Mike Rivera led off the inning with a single off of reliever Brian Falkenborg (2-3). Craig Counsell reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on Ray Durham’s single. Hardy then hit a 1-2 pitch to left-field to drive in Counsell.

Brian Shouse (5-1) relieved David Riske with two runners on in the 11th inning and got a double play to get out of the inning to record the win.

It was Sabathia’s first start since his disputed one-hitter Sunday against Pittsburgh. Baseball formally denied the Brewers’ appeal of a play from the game in which Pittsburgh’s’ Andy LaRoche was awarded an infield single that Sabathia bobbled, and it stood as the only hit he allowed in the shutout.

It didn’t take long for Sabathia to give up his first hit Friday. On his third pitch of the game, Giles lined a solid single to right.

Sabathia said he almost felt a sense of relief when Giles got the single.

“I came in and told Rickie (Weeks) that there wouldn’t be any controversy today,” he said. “I just tried to go out there and battle and keep us in the game.”

Sabathia said he was not upset that Yost pulled him after seven innings, even though he did not end up getting the win.

“We won the game and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “In September, we’re just trying to get wins and get in the playoffs.”

Yost said he pulled Sabathia because he had “labored a bit” in the seventh inning and wanted to put his bullpen in a position to win the game.

“It was a grind,” Yost said. “It just shows you there are no easy games in September for anybody. That was a hard fought game.”

Josh Geer, making his second major league start for the Padres after being called up Aug. 29, pitched five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.

“Geer did a good job of keeping us in the game,” said Giles, who had four hits. “That’s disappointing to loss, but we had our work cut out with him (Sabathia) on the hill.”

Padres manager Bud Black said Hardy’s game winning hit came on a good pitch from Falkenborg.

“Just good hitting,” Black said. “He got a pitch that he squared up on. That’s baseball.”

Jason Kendall’s RBI single in the second inning gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. The Padres tied it on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Sabathia helped his own cause in the fourth inning. With two outs, Bill Hall tripled. After Jason Kendall was walked intentionally, Sabathia hit the first pitch back up the middle. Padres second baseman Edgar Gonzalez knocked it down, but could not make the play and Hall scored.

Notes

The Brewers signed former Minnesota Twins INF Mike Lamb to a free agent contract Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster for Lamb, the Brewers designated C Lou Palmisano for assignment. … The Padres’ Edgar Gonzalez was caught stealing in the fifth inning when he slid past the bag. Durham grabbed the high throw from Jason Kendall and tagged Gonzalez. … The win was the Brewers’ 3,000th in franchise history.

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