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GAME OF THE DAY

LaRue's Home Run Lifts Reds in 11th

September 13, 2006|From the Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Jason LaRue's meaningful moments this season have been few and far between. The timing on his latest was perfect.

LaRue's one-out homer in the 11th inning Tuesday night sent the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres and tightened the National League playoff race.

When it looked as if Cincinnati was about to fade away, LaRue provided a victory that kept the Reds thinking there's enough time to elbow their way back to the front of the pack of contenders.

"It's been that way all year," Manager Jerry Narron said. "Every time the wheels start to fall off, we come back and win a couple. This is a league of runs, and we're capable of putting together a solid run."

Cincinnati won for only the fifth time in its last 16 games, moving 2 1/2 games behind San Diego for the NL wild-card berth. Four teams are now bunched within 2 1/2 games of the Padres.

"You'd figure at this point you'd be getting some clear scenarios for some teams, but that's just not the case," said San Diego's Mike Piazza, who hit a solo homer. "We just have to hang in there. Teams can pick up ground or lose ground quickly."

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