Hundley hammers walk-off shot in 16th

Hundley smacks walk-off shot in 16th

SAN DIEGO -- There is a Murphy bed tucked away in manager Bud Black's office for games like the one the Padres played on Saturday.

Well, and at least part of Sunday.

But even after Padres catcher Nick Hundley ended a late extra-inning affair with his home run in the 16th inning for a 6-5 victory over the Reds, Black said he was headed home to sleep after a game that ended at 12:20 a.m.

"I'm Cal Ripken. I haven't used it yet," Black said of the bed, one his predecessor, now Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, used on occasion.

Who could have blamed Black if he did? After all, the Padres (15-22) used about every player on their 25-man roster to top the Reds (20-16), going through extreme lengths to win consecutive games for the first time since April 17-18.

When the dust settled on Sunday morning, yes, Sunday morning, the Padres and Reds had played for five hours and 14 minutes, used a combined 15 pitchers and survived several close calls in a game that certainly could have ended sooner.

The Padres, who were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 17 on base, weren't bemoaning their missed offensive opportunities after the game, though. Instead, they were praising the work of their bullpen.

After starting pitcher Josh Geer lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs as the Padres fell behind 5-2 after six innings, the bullpen of Joe Thatcher, Greg Burke -- in his debut at the Major League level, no less -- Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Edward Mujica, Luke Gregerson and Luis Perdomo took care of the rest.

All told, the Padres' bullpen combined for 10 1/3 scoreless innings with three hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Black singled out the work of two rookies, Gregerson and Perdomo, who combined for six scoreless innings.

"I can't say enough about the last two guys ... when every pitch is critical," Black said of Gregerson and Perdomo, each who had never pitched at the Major League level prior to this season. "You're talking about two guys with three months of Major League service."

In a game that was eerily reminiscent of one these two teams played at PETCO Park last May, one the Padres won in 18 innings on a walk-off home run by Adrian Gonzalez, it's not entirely surprising this one ended on one swing as well.

Hundley, who caught all 16 innings, jumped on a slider up in the strike zone and sent it into the upper deck in left field for the game-winner. It was his second hit of the game in six at-bats and eight plate appearances.

Tired? Not at all, Hundley admitted afterwards, looking and sounding as if he wouldn't mind getting behind the plate for Sunday's game that begins at 1:05 p.m.

"That was such an intense game, I don't think you had time to get tired," said Hundley, who said his home run was the first of its kind for him at any level of baseball.

Like Black, Hundley commended the work of the bullpen, a group that has surely taken a fair amount of criticism for the slide the Padres have endured since beginning the season with a 9-3 record.

"The bullpen was unbelievable, they got ahead in the count. We used everyone and they came through," Black said.

Hundley's home run was the fifth home run of the game between the two teams and the third for the Padres, who started the game with a bang -- on a leadoff home run in the first inning by Brian Giles -- and ended it the same way.

Along the way, the Padres, who fell behind 5-2 after Geer allowed a pair of two-run home runs to Lance Nix and Jay Bruce, got a home run from Edgar Gonzalez during the seventh inning to give wings to the comeback.

The Padres scored twice in the eighth inning to tie the game on Jody Gerut's RBI ground ball and when rookie Drew Macias drew a tough, bases-loaded walk from reliever, David Weathers.

"You don't know when these games are going to end," said Black, who admitted that the 22-inning loss to Colorado and that 18-inning victory over the Reds last season did cross his mind on Saturday.

"I love them when we win."

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.