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Reds win in eleven, inch closer to wild card berth.
By GREG STEPHENS--MOP Squad Sports Staff Writer
Sep 13, 2006 - 11:48:00 AM

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In a game the Cincinnati Reds needed to win to stay in the National League wild-card chase, the Reds fought the rain and the Padres, riding an eleventh inning walk-off home run to pull within two and a half games of San Diego.

At six o'clock last evening, there was substantial doubt the game at Great American would even take place, as the Cincinnati area had seen heavy rains throughout Tuesday.  A mere 15,820 braved the elements to see if the home town Reds could gain ground on the streaking Padres, or if this would be yet another season of what could've been.  The Reds started unpredictable Eric Milton (8-7 on the season) against Chris Young (10-5).

The Reds took a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth before the wheels came off.  The Padres touched reliever Ryan Franklin for three runs, in two-thirds of a inning, giving the Padres a 4-3 lead.  The Reds managed to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth when Brandon Phillips scored Edwin Encarnacion on a fielder's choice.

The game remained knotted up until the bottom of the eleventh inning when Jason LaRue, the .184 hitting catcher, approached the plate with one out for his first at-bat of the game.  LaRue promptly hit a walk-off home run, his eighth of the season, to give the Reds a much needed victory.

Also hitting home runs were Mike Piazza (21), and Rich Aurilia (22).  Wednesday, the Reds send Aaron Harang (13-10) to the mound against Clay Hensley (8-11) at 7:10 pm.

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