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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Red Sox, Braves collapse; Rays, Cardinals win wild cards: a minute-by-minute look at Wednesday’s wild night

Unless you had two TV’s sitting side-by-side, with the full MLB package and picture-in-picture on both screens (or you were at a bar), it was impossible to watch all four of Wednesday’s drama-filled wild-card contests play out.

Sure you could flip channels or watch the crawl on the bottom of the screen or wait for game-breaks, but there was no way to simultaneously watch all the action unfold.

By now you’ve seen the highlights, read the stories and seen the box scores. You know Jonathan Papelbon’s ninth-inning meltdown in Baltimore opened the door for Evan Longoria’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th to launch the Tampa Bay Rays into the playoffs. And you know the Braves coughed up their own 3-2 lead in the ninth-inning and eventually fell to the Phillies on Hunter Pence’s broken-bat RBI single in the 13th to hand the Cardinals the NL wild card.

But a combined timeline of all those events makes Wednesday’s memorable night even more remarkable.

ESPN.com has a full timeline from the four games, but here are the biggest moments of the night:

8:36 (Baltimore) — Dustin Pedroia’s solo home run in the 5th gives the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

8:52 (Tampa Bay) — Andruw Jones homer in the top of the fifth gives Yankees 7-0 lead.
12:02: Red Sox choke in the bottom of the ninth. (Joe Giza - Reuters)

9:34 (Baltimore) — Rain delays Red Sox-Orioles game.

9:56 (Atlanta) — After Braves closer Craig Kimbrel walks the bases loaded, Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly ties the game at 3.

10:23 (Tampa Bay) — Evan Longoria’s three-run homer caps six-run eighth inning for Rays. Yankees lead 7-6 heading into ninth.

10:26 (Houston) — Chris Carpenter retires Astros in order to complete two-hit shutout. Cardinals win 8-0.

10:47 (Tampa Bay) — Dan Johnson (.108 season avg.) hits a two-out, game-tying home run to force extra innings.

10:58 (Baltimore) — Red Sox-Orioles resumes after 1:24 rain delay.

11:28 (Atlanta) — Hunter Pence’s 13th inning broken-bat bloop single drives in Brian Schneider. Phillies lead 4-3.

11:40 (Atlanta) — Freddie Freeman grounds into double-play, Braves lose 4-3. Back in Houston, Cardinals pop the champagne.


12:05: Rays beat the Yankees in 12 to win the wild card. (SteveNesius - Reuters)
11:59 (Baltimore) — Noland Reimold’s ninth-inning RBI double off Jonathan Papelbon ties game 3-3.

12:02 (Baltimore) — Robert Andino’s single off Papelbon drives in Reimold, Orioles win 4-3.

12:05 (Tampa Bay) — Longoria’s game-winning homer to left gives Rays 8-7 win in 12 innings and the AL wild card.

By  |  12:30 PM ET, 09/29/2011

 
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