It took 19 innings, but the Toronto Blue Jays finally defeated the Detroit Tigers by a score of 6-5 on Sunday in a marathon game that took over 6.5 hours to complete. Fittingly enough, a well-known Billy Joel song was played throughout Rogers Centre upon the game's end, via Mike Wilner of Sportsnet.ca:
Though it was not Major League Baseball's longest game ever—which by total innings was a 26-inning affair, per Baseball Almanac, between the Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves in 1920—it did set a franchise record for the Blue Jays, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
This Tigers-Blue Jays game is the longest in Blue Jays history (currently in 19th inning)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 10, 2014
Sunday's contest featured a couple of bouts of heroics from Toronto's bats.
Heading into the ninth inning, the Blue Jays found themselves trailing 5-4. However, a single by Jose Reyes scored Anthony Gose to send the game into extras.
Ten innings later, lightning struck again for the Blue Jays, as Jose Bautista ripped a single to right, scoring Munenori Kawasaki. Here's a look at the contest's final action:
An exhilarated team swarmed Bautista thereafter, leaving a tattered uniform for the club's official Twitter account to proudly display:
Later, a winded Bautista gave a concise statement during a press conference with The Associated Press, via ESPN.com.
"It was a long day today and coming out on top is the only thing that matters."
The game ended with a total of 16 pitchers giving up 39 hits on 629 pitches. Needless to say, everyone's due for some rest in the immediate future. In fact, with so many pitchers taking the mound, Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello called upon the grounds crew when he came on in relief during the 17th inning.
"The holes were so big. I couldn't really get any kind of footing, I was falling on every pitch," he explained during the press conference. "There was nowhere to move around on the rubber. It was one big crater."
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted the game's final stats compared to the weekend's other 19-inning thriller between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels:
A comparison of the 2 longest games of the MLB season ... both were this weekend pic.twitter.com/6PGSO332TS— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 11, 2014
Toronto improves to 63-56 on the season, and the win nudges the team closer to the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers are losing their grasp of the AL Central, as the team falls to 63-52—just a half-game above the surging Kansas City Royals who are currently riding a seven-game winning streak.
The Blue Jays will look to keep their two-game winning streak alive on Monday against the Seattle Mariners, while Detroit will attempt to right the ship against the Pittsburgh Pirates.