It seemed appropriate that Wednesday night's game--or shall we call it Thursday morning's game--was decided on a defensive lapse.
Neither the Padres nor the Montreal Expos seemed capable of winning the 5-hour 15-minute, 17-inning marathon offensively.
At about 12:15 Thursday morning, Andres Galarraga scored from second on a throwing error by catcher Benito Santiago on a pickoff attempt at first base in the top of the 17th with two outs.
Mike Fitzgerald, the next batter, added a run-scoring single to give the Expos a 5-3 victory at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Only about 2,000 fans were left from a paid crowd of 15,855.
"You can't tell a guy like (Santiago) not to throw," Expos' Manager Buck Rodgers said. "And you can't blame him, either. Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score the whole game."
Galarraga, asked if he was surprised that Santiago threw over, replied, "Not really, because he'd been throwing over a lot (in his career)."
The two runs by Montreal were their first in 15 innings after scoring three in the first inning. The Padres scored three in the first three innings, then were shut down by six Expo pitchers.
Bill Sampen (10-4) got the victory with five innings of relief. John Davis (0-1) took the loss in his first National League decision. He was the sixth Padre pitcher.
"It's tough when you get as many opportunities to win as we did, and we couldn't put them away. Makes you dizzy," Padre Manager Greg Riddoch said.
The Padres' record for most innings is 21, set at home against Houston in 1971. The Padres' longest game ever is 6 hours 17 minutes at home against Houston in 1980. That game lasted 20 innings. The Padres lost both games.
It was the Padres' fifth 17-inning game in their 22-year history. They have had two games last 21 innings, one 20, one 19 and two 18.