Final in 18
Tampa Bay leads 1-0 (as of 9/20)
|Game 1: Friday, September 20|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 2: Saturday, September 21|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Sunday, September 22|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 4: Monday, September 23|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
7:10 PM ET, September 20, 2013
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon was more than happy to wait until the early-morning hours for what he called an incredible victory.
David DeJesus ended a nearly seven-hour game with a one-out RBI single in the 18th inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays took over sole possession of the top AL wild-card spot by beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Friday night.
Stats & Info: Wild Card Heats Up
The Rays lead the AL wild-card race with nine days left in the regular season. ESPN Stats & Info examines the road ahead for each of the contenders. Blog
"Obviously, both teams really battled extremely hard," Maddon said. "You know both teams wanted to win it badly. To win that game means a lot based on the time of the year that it is."
Tampa Bay started its game at 7:11 p.m., tied with Texas atop a crowded race for the two AL wild cards. By the time it ended 6 hours, 54 minutes later -- a record in time for both teams -- the Rays were a half-game ahead of Cleveland, which beat Houston 2-1 in a rain-shortened game. The Rangers lost to Kansas City 2-1 and dropped a half-game behind. Baltimore is 2½ back.
"That's everything right there that you play 162 games for," Tampa Bay's Chris Gimenez said. "I've never been a part of a game that long. To win it, especially how we did it, I hope this is something we can take and kind of run with. It couldn't happen at a better time, I'll tell you that much. It's a huge win for us. The only thing we can control is how we go out and play. If we win, we're in. Got that Al Davis mentality, 'Just win, baby.' "
After Yunel Escobar walked, DeJesus won it on his line single to center, ending the Rays' longest game in franchise history and setting off a wild celebration. Luke Scott of the Rays came onto the field wearing a Chewbacca mask, while Jamey Wright dressed like a member of the rock band Kiss.
Now the AL East rivals get to do it all over again at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.
The Rays and Orioles needed a lot of arms in their 18-inning marathon Friday, combining to use more pitchers (21) than in any other game in major league history. A look at the games with the most hurlers:
|Fri.||Orioles at Rays||21|
|Thurs.||Cards at Rockies||20|
|Aug. '13||D-backs at Phillies||20|
|Sept. '06||Rockies at Cubs||20|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
Jeremy Hellickson (12-9), Sunday's scheduled starter, allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Maddon said a decision on who will pitch Sunday has not been made.
After Zobrist tied it, the teams traded zeros long into the night.
From the eighth inning on, the Orioles had just two hits. The Rays had six.
"Two teams wanted something very badly and that's why those game go on like that," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The game's not always fair that night, but it usually evens out. We're all operating under the same umbrella and it's part of the job description that you know, going in, there's going to be some times that will be challenging."
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two outs in the 15th, but failed to score when Tim Beckham was retired on a hard grounder to second.
Tampa Bay went ahead 3-0 during the second when slow-footed catcher Jose Molina doubled, went to third when Escobar hit a fly ball and scored on DeJesus' sacrifice fly. Molina received a standing ovation after scoring.
Orioles starter Jason Hammel, winless in his last 12 starts since beating Washington on May 27, gave up three runs and six hits over five innings. Tampa Bay left-hander David Price, who has gone five starts without a victory, allowed two runs and nine hits in his five-plus innings.
"Devastating, obviously," Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said. "It would have been much better if we had come out on top."
There were 593 pitches, 301 by the Rays and 292 by Baltimore, thrown in the game. ... Machado got hit around his right hand by Jake McGee's pitch in the seventh, but remained in the game. ... Jennings was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to neck stiffness. He had a pinch-hit infield single in the ninth and stayed in the game to play center. ... Tampa Bay recalled RHP Jake Odorizzi from Triple-A Durham.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Outfielder David DeJesus #7 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds 3rd base and scores...(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Tampa Bay leads 13-6 (as of Fri 9/20)|
|Tue 4/2||BAL 7, @TB 4||Recap|
|Wed 4/3||@TB 8, BAL 7||Recap|
|Thu 4/4||BAL 6, @TB 3||Recap|
|Tue 4/16||@BAL 5, TB 4||Recap|
|Wed 4/17||TB 6, @BAL 2||Recap|
|Thu 4/18||@BAL 10, TB 6||Recap|
|Fri 5/17||TB 12, @BAL 10||Recap|
|Sat 5/18||TB 10, @BAL 6||Recap|
|Sun 5/19||TB 3, @BAL 1||Recap|
|Fri 6/7||@TB 2, BAL 1||Recap|
|Sat 6/8||@TB 8, BAL 0||Recap|
|Sun 6/9||BAL 10, @TB 7||Recap|
|Mon 8/19||TB 4, @BAL 3||Recap|
|Tue 8/20||TB 7, @BAL 4||Recap|
|Wed 8/21||@BAL 4, TB 2||Recap|
|» Fri 9/20||@TB 5, BAL 4||Box Score|
|Sat 9/21||@TB 5, BAL 1||Recap|
|Sun 9/22||@TB 3, BAL 1||Recap|
|Mon 9/23||@TB 5, BAL 4||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Orioles | Rays|
|1st||B Zobrist doubled to deep right, D DeJesus scored.||0||1|
|1st||M Joyce grounded into fielder's choice to right, B Zobrist scored, E Longoria safe at third on error by first baseman C Davis.||0||2|
|2nd||D DeJesus hit sacrifice fly to left, J Molina scored.||0||3|
|5th||A Jones reached on infield single to third, M Morse scored, B Roberts to third, M Machado to second.||1||3|
|6th||N Markakis grounded out to second, M Wieters scored.||2||3|
|7th||A Jones doubled to deep left, B Roberts scored, M Machado to third.||3||3|
|7th||D Valencia hit sacrifice fly to center, M Machado scored, A Jones to third.||4||3|
|7th||B Zobrist singled to right, Y Escobar scored.||4||4|
|18th||D DeJesus singled to center, D Jennings scored, Y Escobar to second.||4||5|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL|
|Attendance||21,247 (62.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Dan Bellino|
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