Brewers edge Diamondbacks to advance in second round of MLB playoffs
MILWAUKEE – Nyjer Morgan produced an RBI single in the 10th inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory over Arizona on Friday and into the second round of the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Morgan grounded a ball up the middle that eluded Diamondbacks closing pitcher J.J. Putz – who attempted to stop it with his leg.
Carlos Gomez, who had singled and stolen second, raced across home plate to score the winning run as a desperation throw to home went high, and Milwaukee players flooded onto the field to celebrate.
The victory gave Milwaukee a three-games-to-two triumph in the best-of-five National League first-round series.
Morgan, who has won over many Milwaukee fans since his arrival this year with an out-sized personality that in the past has rubbed some the wrong way, admitted it was an emotional moment.
“It’s a lot, man,” Morgan said. “I just wanted to show them that I can play this game, even though I have a fun, bubbly personality. I still come to win, and I’m a winner.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that he never doubted it.
“He’s a joy to have, I’ll tell you,” Roenicke said of Morgan. “I don’t care about all the little issues we have. This guy, I love him on this team. I like him as a really nice young man. He came through big, again, when we needed him.”
They next face either Philadelphia or St. Louis in a best-of-seven National League Championship series for a World Series berth.
The Phillies hosted the Cardinals in the deciding game five of their series later Friday.
Arizona’s Willie Bloomquist had driven in the tying run in the ninth inning as the Diamondbacks battled to extend their season.
Arizona’s determination pushed them to some stellar play, including center fielder Chris Young’s spectacular warning-track catch in the sixth inning.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases against relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez in the eighth inning, but Rodriguez induced Ryan Roberts to ground into a force out at second base to end the danger.
After struggling in the ninth inning, Brewers closing pitcher John Axford retired the side in order in the 10th.
“It was a great game for the fans, for baseball, it was well played. Unfortunately, we lost,” said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, whose team had rallied to win a major league-leading 48 times in the regular season.
“We’ve had great comebacks all year. Unfortunately, tonight we weren’t able to finish it off,” he said.
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