To trot or not to trot? HR delayed by pain

Carter initially unsure if game-tying blast had cleared Safeco wall or been caught

To trot or not to trot? HR delayed by pain

SEATTLE -- Chris Carter loves hitting at Safeco Field, but usually when he hits a home run, he knows it's gone. Take, for example, the 465-foot blast the Brewers' slugger slammed in Friday night's series opener between Milwaukee and the Mariners. That one was the longest long ball in the 17-year history of this ballpark.

In the Brewers' 7-6 win on Sunday, Carter came up with another round-tripper, and -- among his 18 career homers vs. Seattle -- this dinger was perhaps his masterpiece. The two-run tater tied the game with one out in the ninth inning.

If only he had any clue that it really did leave the yard.

Trailing 6-4 and batting with Hernan Perez on second base and Mariners right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen on the mound, Carter blasted a ball to deep right-center field. Late-inning defensive replacement Shawn O'Malley chased it from his position in right field and leapt at the wall to try to haul it in. O'Malley lunged and stabbed his glove at it. The crowd of 35,833 roared. O'Malley fell to the warning track dirt, apparently shaken up from the effort, but he didn't show that the ball either was or wasn't in his glove.

Carter was busy rounding second base, unsure if he had a double or maybe flied out on one of the great game-saving catches of the season.

Carter really had no idea. So he stopped at second base and waited for someone, anyone, to indicate that a conclusion had been made about this strange disappearing fly ball.

"I didn't know if he had the ball or not, because he jumped and then I was kind of running, and then I didn't know if he had it, and Hernan was in between, and I was like, 'Wait, should he come back and tag and score?'" Carter said. "No one made a call there, so I wasn't sure what was going on."

Neither were the Mariners.

"I didn't know," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "[O'Malley] was running full speed at it. Heck of an effort. Full speed at it, right at the corner."

After a minute or so that seemed like an hour or so, it became evident that O'Malley did not have the ball, the fly ball was Carter's 29th homer of the year and the game was tied. O'Malley, who scooted back to his position in right field, was apparently OK.

"He got there maybe just a tick late," Servais said. "If he'd been there a little earlier, maybe he could have got up on it, but obviously the ball didn't get over by much. You have to give them credit. [Carter] hit a tough pitch and hit it out of the park. That's his power and has plenty of it. But heck of an effort by O'Malley."

Minutes later, Scooter Gennett's fly ball dropped into left field, and the Brewers had scored the winning run in an improbable comeback victory.

"There's something about this ballpark," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Carter, who has hit 12 homers in 39 career games at Safeco. "I think he's done really well in this ballpark. He's swinging the bat really well. That's what he can do. He can impact the game fast."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.