Cintron's game-winning blast bails out Arizona's bullpen
PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The
' bullpen again failed to protect a lead, but
made it an afterthought.
After the Diamondbacks squandered a five-run cushion in the final two innings, Cintron belted a pinch hit game-winning home run in the 10th to lift Arizona to a dramatic 6-5 triumph over the
yielded just one run and seven hits in seven-plus innings. He struck out three and walked one before exiting with a 5-1 lead.
"Thank God I am here now and these guys have confidence in me," said Vargas, who opened the season 0-3 with a 9.24 ERA with the
before being claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks. "I think I am the best I have been on the mound right now since my rookie year. I have the confidence back."
However, Arizona's bullpen - which entered with a major league-worst 5.73 ERA - again turned in a disappointing performance. Closer
was called upon in the ninth to protect a 5-1 lead, but ran into immediate trouble.
The righthander yielded a leadoff triple to
plated a run with an infield single before rookie
belted a game-tying three-run homer.
"It was nice to be able to come back like that and tie it," said Johnson, who entered the game in a 4-for-33 slump.
"As long as we won, I don't really care what happened tonight," Bruney said. "It (stinks) to put my team in a situation like that where we have to battle in extra innings. I am not here to have a good ERA and do good for myself. I am here to win."
is still planning to use Bruney as his closer despite Thursday's acquisition of righthander
"That is one game. Bruney has been great," Melvin said. "If you look at the numbers of closers around the league and how many chances they have had and Bruney is right there. He has been great for us. That is his first tough outing he has had in a while."
However, Cintron wasted little time in taking the heat off Bruney. Entering in a 5-for-34 slump, Cintron led off the 10th inning by blasting a 1-1 offering from
(3-3) over the right field wall for his fourth homer and first since July 6.
"I was just trying to get on base for
and the guys to get me in," Cintron said. "I wasn't trying to hit a homer. I have been struggling coming off the bench. I wasn't looking for anything. I don't play in seven days, (so) I don't go up looking for a pitch. I just tried to get on base and he left it up."
"When you make a pitch like that, big league hitters are going to jump on that," Brower said. "I have faced Cintron before and he has power. He was looking to drive the ball and I happen to feed his swing."
The blast made a winner of
(6-1), who recorded the final five outs.
each had three hits and scored two runs for Arizona, which won for just the sixth time in 15 games.
Atlanta's comeback bailed out starter
, who yielded four runs, eight hits and three walks in six innings.
"I thought Tim pitched pretty good," Braves manager
said. "I thought he threw the ball fine for his second outing (back from the disabled list). Not as good as last time but good enough to win, that was for sure."
Furcal, Johnson and Langerhans had two hits apiece for the Braves, who failed to pass the struggling Nationals and move into sole possession of first place in the National League East Division for the first time since June 4.
"Being on the West Coast, we got to see all the other scores and with the Nationals losing, it would have been a really big win if we could've pulled it out," Johnson said.