On July 26, 2011 — The Braves beat the Pirates, 4 – 3, in 19 innings in a game that ends on a very controversial play. After 6 hours and 39 minutes of play at Turner Field, Braves P Scott Proctor grounds to Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez; Julio Lugotakes off from third base and Alvarez’s throw to C Michael McKenry easily beats him to the plate, however umpire Jerry Meals calls him safe with the winning run. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle argues vociferously, and even though television replays show that Lugo was tagged out, the run is allowed to stand. Daniel McCutchen is the unlucky loser, in spite of giving up only that run in 5 1/3 innings as neither team scores after the 3rd inning until the deciding run. It is the longest game by time in both teams’ history. Immediately after the game, the Pirates launch a formal complaint about the disputed call to the Commissioner’s office. Tomorrow, both Meals and MLB Vice-President Joe Torre will acknowledge that the call was wrong, but that it will not be reversed. The tough loss marks the beginning of the end for the Bucs, who have been playing above .500 and battling for first place in the NL Central: on July 29th, they will start an 11-game losing streak and tumble well out of contention.

Baseball Reference July 26