© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers staved off history. Then they staved off what would have been another crushing loss.
Bill Hall's eighth-inning RBI double cost Tom Glavine a chance for win No. 300, and five innings later, Geoff Jenkins delivered a two-run, game-winning home run that beat the Mets, 4-2, in 13 innings on Tuesday at Miller Park.
Jenkins' third career game-winning homer saved the Brewers from a brutal night at the plate, some of which was attributed to Glavine over six vintage innings by the left-hander. With Tony Graffanino at second base, Jenkins' hit was just the Brewers' second in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position. As a team, the Brewers left 14 runners on base.
Did they get away with one?
"I feel like we earned one," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "You have to find ways to win those games. That's a first-place team over there. They didn't give us anything. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but we persevered and found a way to win that game. That's all that matters."
It mattered especially on Tuesday, because the Cubs won earlier in the night and a Brewers loss would have left the two teams tied atop the National League Central. Instead, the Brewers held onto a lead that they have owned every day since April 20.
Yost employed eight pitchers in the game, including Wednesday's scheduled starter, Dave Bush (9-8), who worked around a hit in the top of the 13th inning and notched his second win in relief this season.
"It's fun," Bush said. "I've been in two extra-inning situations out of the bullpen, when the situation is kind of tense, stressful a little bit. But I enjoy it, especially when it comes out the way it did."
Aaron Sele (3-1) took the loss for New York. He was in his third inning of work when Graffanino led off the bottom of the 13th with a double. Jenkins hit a 1-2 pitch that cleared the right-field wall by mere inches.
"I knew it was going to get [Graffanino] over at least, but obviously it had enough to clear the wall and give us a win," Jenkins said. "That was big. ... That's a key moment for our team to get a win after a tough road trip."
It seemed there was a key moment in almost every inning Wednesday night. Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan dueled Glavine through the first five innings before surrendering a 1-0 lead in the sixth. David Wright chopped a tying RBI single over a drawn-in Brewers infield, and two batters later, Moises Alou gave the Mets a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly. But the Brewers saved a key run when Hall fielded Shawn Green's double and threw to Graffanino, who relayed home in time to cut down Carlos Delgado trying to score a third Mets run.
With Glavine out of the game, the Brewers rallied to tie in the eighth inning on Hall's ground-rule double. But even after loading the bases with one out, the Brewers were unable to tack on. They had runners at second and third and one out in the ninth inning but didn't score, and also stranded a runner in scoring position in the 11th and 12th.
"You have to find ways to win those games. That's a first-place team over there. They didn't give us anything. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but we persevered and found a way to win that game. That's all that matters."
-- Brewers manager Ned Yost
Brewers super-rookie Ryan Braun twice had an opportunity to win the game. But Braun waved at two sliders from Mets reliever Jorge Sosa in the ninth inning, and he grounded into an inning-ending double play in the 11th.
"Plenty of missed opportunities," Braun said with a shrug. "But ultimately we got the win, and that's all that matters. It's all about winning at this point. Obviously, it would have been nicer to get it done sooner and save the bullpen a little bit."
The lone blip in terms of the Brewers' pitching performance came in the 10th, when right-handed reliever Matt Wise threw all 10 of his pitches out of the strike zone. Brian Shouse relieved him with a 2-0 count on Alou and induced a double play before a third reliever, Chris Spurling, struck out Damion Easley. Spurling threw only 18 pitches in 2 1/3 outstanding innings.
Yost conceded that Wise's trouble could have started in Cincinnati, where he struck Reds infielder Pedro Lopez in the face with a pitch.
"That's probably a real possibility," Yost said. "I'm not sure if that's the case or not, but he hasn't been the same from that point on. And you have to get over it, one way or another. There was no intent on that, and if you can't get over it, you've got problems."
Glavine surrendered only two hits, a Braun double in the fourth inning that positioned Prince Fielder for an RBI groundout and a 1-0 Brewers lead, and Damian Miller's single leading off the seventh. Miller's hit prompted a call for reliever Aaron Heilman, and most of the 41,790 in attendance gave Glavine a standing ovation as he walked off. Tuesday was 17 years to the day since Nolan Ryan beat the Brewers at County Stadium for his own 300th win.
Had Glavine won, Brewers starter Suppan would have been on the wrong end of history for the second time this season. Suppan pitched 6 1/3 innings at Detroit on June 12 but took the loss when the Tigers' Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter.
"Glavine threw the ball very well, but fortunately we were able to grind it down and get the win," Suppan said.