Jonathan Papelbon offers $5K for HR

Updated: June 24, 2012, 1:03 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Closer Jonathan Papelbon offered to pay teammate Jim Thome $5,000 for saving the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Thome hit a pinch-hit home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Phillies over the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6 after Papelbon blew his first save chance in 18 tries this season.

Papelbon said he told Thome in the on-deck circle that he would give him $5,000 if he hit a homer. Papelbon said he wrote the check in the clubhouse. Thome, however, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn't received any payment.

"That was a huge pickup by Jim Thome," Papelbon said. "I couldn't be happier for anybody in the clubhouse."

Papelbon (2-2) allowed his first earned runs in a save situation this season. He walked Jose Lobaton with two outs to extend the game. Jeff Keppinger followed with an RBI single. Then, Brooks Conrad ripped a run-scoring single to right to tie it. Conrad was 3 for 41 before that hit.

"I've got to do a better job," Papelbon said.

Thome connected off Jake McGee (2-2) for home run No. 609, tying Sammy Sosa for seventh place on baseball's career list. It was the 13th time he did it to end a game.

"You never forget them," Thome said. "These are moments you never know how long you'll have them."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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