Vargas hits game-winner in 19th, D-backs top Cards 3-2
PHOENIX — Arizona had ample reasons to be a beatendown ballclub one day after being officially eliminated from the National League playoff race.
Instead, the Diamondbacks powered through 19 innings of baseball, used 13 pitchers and earned an unlikely 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that lasted nearly seven hours.
Ildemaro Vargas had a game-tying, pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning on
Tuesday and then singled with the bases loaded in the 19th at 1:34 a.m. local time on Wednesday, sending Arizona’s players streaming from the dugout in celebration.
“We just didn’t shut down,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “We had plenty of opportunities to feel sorry for ourselves and we didn’t. We scratched together some runs at the right time.”
Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed started the final rally with back-to-back singles off John Brebbia (3-4), who was the Cardinals’ 11th pitcher of the night. Jarrod Dyson and Robbie Ray — a pitcher who had to pinch hit — struck out before Christian Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Then it was Vargas’ turn to be the hero again, smacking a single — his fourth hit of the game — through the left side of the infield. He raised his hands as players rushed the field.
“I was so excited, just pumped up,” Vargas said through an interpreter.
If Vargas hadn’t come through with the gamewinning hit, he was going to be on the mound in the 20th inning because the D-backs were out of available pitchers.
“We didn’t have much to go on — that was it,” Lovullo said. “Luckily, we didn’t have to find out how that looked.”
The game last 6 hours and 53 minutes and featured 24 pitchers and 48 strikeouts, with both teams plowing through bullpen arms thanks to September’s expanded rosters. The Diamondbacks used a franchise-record 30 players.