Yasiel Puig ends Dodgers' futility with winning homer in 11th inning

Yasiel Puig ends Dodgers' futility with winning homer in 11th inning
Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of the Dodgers' 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers persevered through the team’s most futile attempt to ever hit a baseball Sunday, with the rookie finally crushing an 11th-inning home run into the left-field pavilion.

The smash capped a Dodgers' record of 20 strikeouts, the most in franchise history since 1900.


With the victory, the first-place Dodgers (56-48) won for the 26th time in 32 games and they're now 9-1 since the All-Star break.

Every Dodgers starter struck out, with Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and catcher Tim Federowicz each whiffing three times.

Even substitutes Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto and Elian Herrera went down on strikes in their first at-bats.

Federowicz struck out following a Juan Uribe double in the eighth inning and then left Ramirez stranded at second in the 10th after a leadoff single.

Left-handers Chris Capuano of the Dodgers and Cincinnati rookie Tony Cingrani didn’t give up a run in their combined 13 2/3 innings of work.

Cingrani, a rookie drafted in 2011 from Rice University, gave up only one hit and one walk in seven innings, striking out 11.

After Capuano surrendered a single on a grounder up the middle by Reds No. 3 hitter Joey Votto, he retired the next 13 batters.

That’s exactly what Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly wanted after Capuano gave up five earned runs in three of his four previous starts.

Asked before the game what he needed to see to know whether Capuano was on, given his odd feast-or-famine run of three scoreless performance in six starts, Mattingly said, "Outs."

Capuano's outs streak included Votto's second at-bat, when the .317 batter leaned back on a two-strike pitch and watched Capuano's curve ball tail across the plate for a called strike three.

The Reds threatened in the sixth inning when No. 8 batter Devin Mesoraco drove a 3-2 pitch to right-center field for a double, moving to third on Cingrani’s sacrifice bunt.

With the Dodgers’ infield in, Cincinnati’s Derrick Robinson failed to get a suicide squeeze bunt in play, then bounced to third baseman Juan Uribe.

Uribe threw home, forcing Mesoraco into a brief rundown that closed with Uribe tagging him out. Capuano then got Chris Heisey to fly out to left.

Cingrani struck out Ramirez three times, Puig twice and the only hit he gave up was a single that Capuano lined up the middle with two outs in the third.

He retired 10 in a row after the Capuano hit, walked Puig to start the seventh, but then picked off the eager rookie and upped his strikeouts to 11 by sitting down Gonzalez and Ramirez.

After 99 pitches, Cingrani departed the game in the top of the eighth inning for pinch-hitter Shin-Soo Choo.

Choo was hit by Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez and stole second base with two outs, but was stranded there on a popout to first.

Reds relievers Manny Parra and Sam LeCure struck out three more Dodgers in the eighth.