Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
In a game with major playoff implications, the Rays came up with a 5-4 win in the 18th inning. The Rays now have hold of the first wild card spot, with the Indians a half game back and the Rangers a game back.
Neither starting pitcher was dazzling, but both gave their team a chance to win. David Price lasted five plus innings, giving up two earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Price used a heavy dose of fastballs during the game in an attempt to work fast and get quick outs and last deep into the game. However, Price gave up too many hits to last past the fifth inning. Price was pulled after 90 pitches, with Joe Maddon electing to go to the bullpen early in a very important game. Buck Showalter had the same mentality, taking out Jason Hammel after five innings and just 77 pitches. Hammel was charged with three runs (two earned) with three strikeouts and no walks. Both managers were aggressive in going to the bullpen, with Showalter having the pen active as early as the first and second inning, showing how important both of the managers viewed this game. Both bullpens were stellar, each giving their team plenty of time to come up with a win. Neither team’s pen gave up a run for ten and a half innings from the eighth to the top of the eighteenth.
The Rays offense got started off quick in the bottom of the first inning. After David DeJesus took a 1-0 fastball into the right-center gap, Ben Zobrist followed with a double of his own to drive in DeJesus. Zobrist then later scored after Matthew Joyce reached on a Chris Davis error. The Rays took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Jose Molina doubled, advanced to third on a Yunel Escobar fly out, and then scored on a sac fly by DeJesus. The Orioles then scored the next four runs, starting in the fifth when an Adam Jones infield single drove in Michael Morse. The Orioles added another run in the sixth when Matt Wieters scored on a Nick Markakis ground out. The Orioles took the lead with two more runs in the top of the seventh before the Rays tied it back up in the bottom of the seventh when a Zobrist single drove in Escobar. Neither team provided much of a threat from the seventh inning on until the bottom of the fifteenth inning, when the Rays took advantage of two failed potential double plays by the Orioles to load the bases with two outs. But the Rays were unable to capitalize, as Tim Beckham grounded out to end the inning.
The Rays finally were able to pull through in the eighteenth inning. After Beckham grounded out, Desmond Jennings hit a one out double. Following an Escobar walk, DeJesus came through with a big walk off single.
Both teams racked up a solid number of hits, with the Rays having fourteen hits and the Orioles having twelve hits. However, both teams should have scored more runs with the amount of hits that they had The Orioles and the Rays both struggled with timely hitting and leaving runners on base, giving up many opportunities to keep this game from going to extra innings.
In a game that was the longest in Rays history, 21 pitchers were used in the game, a major league record. The Rays used every position player in the game with the exception of Freddy Guzman. Both teams showed their desperation for a win by using a starting pitcher in relief. The Rays used Jeremy Hellickson and the Orioles used Bud Norris.
Hellickson was credited with the win, pitching 2.1 innings in relief. Bud Norris took the loss. The Rays have a short turnaround, as they take on the Orioles again tomorrow at 1:05 ET, with Alex Cobb going against Miguel Gonzalez.