Don't congratulate Arizona's Mark Reynolds for the three-run homer he slugged in the 18th inning Sunday to end the season's longest game. He hit it off a shortstop - San Diego's Josh Wilson - to give Arizona a 9-6 win.

The Padres had used all their relievers and had starter Chad Gaudin - the loser in Friday night's series opener - pitch the 16th and 17th before turning to Wilson in the 18th for his third career appearance.

Wilson pitched in high school, and his two other big-league relief appearances had been in blowout losses.

"I don't know how long I could have lasted," he said. "I started getting tired toward the end of that inning."

Any pitcher who reads this will be doubled over in laughter.

The force was with them

The Cubs were a dismal 4-21 on Sunday with runners in scoring position before outlasting Cincinnati, 6-3, in 14 innings. The Reds were a brutal 0 for 13 in the clutch.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella was philosophical.

"The law of averages, sooner or later, turn in your favor," he said to the Chicago Tribune. "Don't they?"

Swoon no mystery

The St. Louis Cardinals are 14-19 since May 2, and you don't have to have Tony La Russa's law degree to see why.

Since May 1, the Cardinals are batting .234 and are last in the majors with an average of 3.4 runs a game.

In that span, the four primary outfielders - Ryan Ludwick, Chris Duncan, Rick Ankiel and Colby Rasmus - are batting a combined .212.

Bring back the fireworks

District of Columbia Fire Chief Dennis Rubin had just finished watching the Nationals play the New York Mets on Sunday when fireworks went off to celebrate a rare Washington win. But when pieces of debris floated down on the chief himself, Rubin ordered a halt to the displays.

He did not douse the fireworks for long.

After team officials agreed yesterday to shoot off the rockets at a different angle, preventing the burnt paper from floating back into the crowd, the chief said the shows could go on.


The Colorado Rockies' five-game winning streak (four in Busch Stadium over St. Louis) raised their record to 7-4 under new manager Jim Tracy. . . . The Giants-Marlins' game in Miami on Sunday included a 98-minute rain delay before the first pitch, the fifth consecutive night in which the Giants had been idled. . . . The Marlins sent righthander Hayden Penn to triple-A New Orleans. . . . Cardinals shortstop Khalil Greene, who went on the 15-day disabled list late last month with social anxiety issues, began a rehab assignment with triple-A Memphis last night. . . . Arizona claimed righthander Blaine Boyer, 27, off waivers from St. Louis.