They broke out the rally caps in the 17th inning but those didn’t work so the props from their post-victory dance parties began to show up in the 18th inning. The Chewbacca mask favored by Luke Scott. The Gene Simmons mask and the replica high-heeled boots the KISS singer wears on stage sported first by Matt Moore then Jamey Wright. “We were about to bring the sax down” backup catcher Chris Gimenez said. “We were running out of instruments to bring down. We had to win.” “If it went 19 we were going to bring down the (postgame) spread” Sam Fuld said of the meal customarily waiting on the team. It didn’t go 19. The Tampa Bay Rays won the longest game in their history in terms of innings and playing time when David DeJesus singled home Desmond Jennings from second base with the winning run at 2:05 a.m. on Saturday. The 5-4 18-inning victory against the visiting Baltimore Orioles in front of what began as a crowd of 21247 at Tropicana Field took 6 hours 54 minutes to play making it also the longest game in Orioles history. “That was the craziest seven hours of my life” said Jeremy Hellickson who was scheduled to start Sunday but pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win. The victory moved the Rays into sole possession of first place in the American League wild-card standings a half-game ahead of the Cleveland Indians and one game ahead of the Texas Rangers. “That’s probably the biggest win of the year for us” said Jennings who was scratched from the original lineup because of a stiff neck but entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and had two hits in four at-bats. The Orioles are now three games out of the final playoff spot. “I know it’s a cliché road to October that’s everything you play 162 games for” Gimenez said. “I hope this is something we can take and run with. It couldn’t happen at a better time.” On top of everything else the Rays and Orioles have a quick turnaround. Today’s game originally scheduled for 7:10 p.m. was moved to 1:05 p.m. for FOX television. “There is so much energy at stake regarding winning” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “You (also) have to find energy after you lose that game. It’s an incredible boost. (Today) will tell the tale. We probably have a slight advantage because we do have that energy.” The teams combined to use a major league-record 21 pitchers. The Rays tied the major league record by using 11.
Rays top O’s in 18 innings
Tampa Tribune | Sep 21