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Rays go 18 innings to beat Orioles

Sep 21, 2013, 2:30 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

In a game that featured a major league record 21 pitchers and took nearly seven hours, the Rays outlasted the Orioles 5-4 in 18 innings Friday.

The Rays’ win came hours after they were officially eliminated from AL East contention by the Red Sox, but they’ve already known for a couple of weeks that it’d probably be the wild card or nothing. They celebrated like they clinched a berth themselves when David DeJesus singled in Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the 18th.

Jennings was scratched from the Rays’ original lineup because of a sore neck, but he ended up playing 10 innings anyway and going 2-for-4 with a walk. His double got the rally started in the 18th.

Getting the victory was Jeremy Hellickson, the Rays’ 11th pitcher. The Orioles likewise turned to a starter, Bud Norris, in the 16th. He took the loss.

The Orioles went the 18 innings without ever using closer Jim Johnson, though they had him warming up often enough.

The win puts the Rays alone at the top of the wild card race. The Indians won a rain-shortened game against the Astros on Friday, and the Royals edged Rangers 2-1 after scoring in the bottom of the eighth. Here are the standings with 8-9 games left:

Tampa Bay – 84-69
Cleveland – 84-70
Texas – 83-70 (.5 games back)
Baltimore – 81-72 (2.5 games back)
Kansas City – 81-72 (2.5 games back)
New York – 81-73 (3 games back)

  1. dan1111 - Sep 21, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Refusing to use the closer in normal tie games is silly enough, but really, even in 18 innings, when it’s do or die for the playoffs? You bring your sixth starter first?

    But if there was a save situation in the 19th, 20th, or 37th inning, Johnson would have been ready. And that’s what matters!

    • dan1111 - Sep 21, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      Do, however, warm him up a bunch of times, because if there is no save situation, the best way to use your closer is to have him throw a bunch of pitches and get tired out without even entering the game.

    • emdash01 - Sep 21, 2013 at 5:22 AM

      On the other hand, Johnson’s blown a lot of games for them at this point. Though that doesn’t explain making him warm up so many times, of course.

      • dan1111 - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:48 AM

        Maybe so, but he’s still one of their best relievers by any measure. The only reason he was held back was because that is “correct” closer usage.

  2. pegasusgiraffe - Sep 21, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    Baseball pitchers are so fragile, in the scope of pro athletes. Considering a starter usually goes 5-6 innings, a reserve should be able to do the same. This game should’ve used 8 pitchers between the two teams, at most. And the way the team manager judges how to use players, thinking how many days until the next game, is just silly. NBA and NHL players go almost every day,

    • emdash01 - Sep 21, 2013 at 5:31 AM

      The stress on the body of throwing 90+ miles per hour is pretty unique, and the baseball season is longer than either of those two sports’.

    • NatsLady - Sep 21, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      Gee, those NFL players are all such wimps.

    • dan1111 - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:58 AM

      Of course if they had known ahead of time that the game was going to last 18 innings, they would have let some of the relievers pitch longer.

  3. aceshigh11 - Sep 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Goddamn! Now that’s one for the books.

    How many positions players that started the game went all 18 innings? How exhausting must that be?

    • indaburg - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Quite a few.

      I went the 18 innings and I only watched. I’m exhausted.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        Nothing wrong with a woman who can go 18 innings. ;)

        Ah, hell…who am I kidding? I can’t even go three innings. :P

    • indaburg - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      Out of curiosity, I checked.

      Orioles:
      Machado, 3B
      A. Jones, CF
      Chris Effin’ Davis (the shift works against him, as long as you can keep him from hitting a HR), 1B
      Valencia, DH
      Wieters (I’m going to go on a limb–he’s getting today off), C
      Hardy, SS
      Roberts, 2B
      It looks like except for P (O’s used 10) and LF (Morse-Dickerson-McLouth), everyone who started the game for the Orioles stayed til the bitter end. Showalter is old school

      Maddon on the other hand… lord help anyone keeping score.
      Rays:
      DeJesus (played LF, then RF, then back to LF)
      Zobrist, 2B-RF (Our September call-up Beckham, who hadn’t played second base since Little League, I think, was plugged in there because Maddon.)
      Longoria, 3B
      Myers, DH
      Escobar, SS

      Here’s the box if you want to see for yourself: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_20_balmlb_tbamlb_1&mode=box

      • indaburg - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:52 AM

        And one last note… today’s game is at 1:05 pm.

      • buddaley - Sep 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        The last 2 years Beckham has played some 2B in Durham, 25 games in 2012 and 15 this year. There is some thought he may become a utility infielder in the majors.

      • indaburg - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        Ah, thanks for the clarification. The Rays announcers made it sound like Beckham wouldn’t know where 2B was. I should have looked it up myself because he actually did make a decent play on the first ball hit to him.

      • indaburg - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Still though, in a critical game like this, putting in a relatively inexperienced second baseman, well… I trust Maddon’s judgment. I just wonder if that’s the wisest choice.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        Good thing it’s the O’s again today, so the opponent is tired too. Plus I’d much rather play tired after winning a marathon than play tired after losing one.

  4. jdmcmill - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    good job shaking up the lineup and batting Machado leadoff…..Buck should have shook it 100 games ago and stopped batting Weiters 5/6th….and the

  5. watermelon1 - Sep 21, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    another game, another first inning the orioles can’t get by without giving up runs.

    It’s automatic with this pitching staff it seems.

  6. joeflaccosunibrow - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I love my O’s, but something is wrong with this offense. Prior to the All Star break, they started to scuffle. The have been scuffling ever since. I keep thinking that they will wake up any game now. I doubt it now.

  7. jrocknstuff - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    DeJesus came into that last at-bat 7 for 12 against Norris, yet with first base open against Escobar they decide to pitch around him and go after DeJesus. Why not attack Escobar then walk DeJesus and pitch to Zobrist? And then of course when they did walk Escobar they didn’t bother to go to Johnson. So now DeJesus is 8 for 13 against Norris and the Birds are 3 back. Very poor managing last night.

  8. yahmule - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Longoria actually got a hit. See, if you play long enough anything can happen.

  9. historiophiliac - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I love the pic!

  10. cwon14 - Sep 21, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    O’s are done.

  11. blynch67 - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I wish the birds had one that one (Yanks fan).

    • blynch67 - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      *won* /coffee

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