Major League Baseball experienced two 19-inning games within 24 hours over the weekend, giving fans who were willing to stick it out an extra bang for their buck.
The Los Angeles Angels beat Boston 5-4 on Saturday night in Anaheim, followed by host Toronto’s 6-5 victory over Detroit on Sunday. The last time that there were two 19-inning games in the same month was in July 1985.
“It was a long day today and coming out on top was the only thing that matters,” said the Blue Jays’ Juan Bautista, whose 19th-inning single knocked in the game-winning run.
The Blue Jays’ longest games prior to Sunday’s were 18 innings, in 2005 and 2013. The 6 hour, 37 minute game on Sunday is the longest in Toronto’s history. Toronto used 22 of the 25 players on its roster. The Tigers used everyone except starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
There have been four 16-inning games this season, two involving the Chicago Cubs and another the Angels.
On Saturday, Albert Pujols hit a home run leading off the bottom of the 19th inning to supply the game-winner for the Angels. It was Pujols’ 514th homer of his career and his 11th career walk-off homer.
“I had the opportunity twice to give the team the lead and I didn’t come through, but you just need to stay positive and look for a pitch to hit,” Pujols said.
Los Angeles, faced with a depleted bullpen, turned to starter Matt Shoemaker, who retired all nine batters he faced to get the win.
11 and counting: Clayton Kershaw won his 11th consecutive game on Sunday while helping out on the offensive end too. Kershaw reached base three times and drove in a run with a single in the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 5-1 win at Milwaukee.
“It’s fun to feel like a baseball player every once in a while,” Kershaw said. “We get labeled as pitchers only, so it’s fun to get some dirt on your jersey every once in a while.”
Kershaw (14-2) lowered his NL-leading ERA to 1.78.
Twins end skid vs. A’s: Minnesota had lost 12 straight games to the Oakland A’s before Sunday. But the Twins finally snapped the skid, beating Oakland on the road 3-1 on Sunday.
“They’ve had their way with us,” said the Twins’ Josh Willingham, who hit a two-run homer in the eighth after Kurt Suzuki had broken the tie with a double. “We needed to get this win.”
The Twins, who lost the first three games of the series with Oakland, had been in danger of tying their all-time worst skids, both 13-game losing streaks to the New York Yankees from 2002-03 and Texas Rangers from 1998-99.
StatsWatch: Here are the pitchers who have hit the most batters with a pitch this season-
- Charlie Morton, Pirates, 19 HB
- Justin Masterson, Indians/Cardinals, 13 HB
- Jeremy Guthrie, Royals, 12 HB
- Bud Norris, Orioles, 11 HB
- Scott Feldman, Astros, 10 HB
- Alfredo Simon, Reds, 10 HB
- Jeff Samardzija, A’s/Cubs, 10 HB
- Mike Leake, Reds, 10 HB
- A.J. Burnett, Phillies, 9 HB
- James Shields, Royals, 9 HB
- Johnny Cueto, Reds, 9 HB
- Samuel Deduno, Twins, 9 HB
- Scott Carroll, White Sox, 9 HB
Diamond Notes: The Detroit Tiger have placed pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria on the 15-day disabled list. Sanchez has a right pectoralis major strain and Soria has a left oblique strain. Sanchez (8-5, 3.53 ERA) could miss up to four weeks…Hanley Ramirez landed on the Dodgers’ DL with a right oblique strain. Darwin Barney, acquired in a trade last month with the Chicago Cubs, will rotate with two other players at shortstop until Ramirez returns…Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs will have Tommy John surgery to repair an elbow ligament. Skaggs, who is 5-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 18 starts this season, is expected to miss all of next season while recuperating from the surgery.
Copyright © 2014 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.