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Jose Bautista ends longest game in Toronto Blue Jays history with walk-off single in 19th

Jose Bautista ends longest game in Toronto Blue Jays history with walk-off single in 19th

Posted by Juan Gavasa on August 11, 2014

Jose Bautista hit an opposite field single in the bottom of the 19th inning to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 comeback win over the Detroit Tigers Sunday in the longest game in Toronto’s club history. Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (13-7), in a relief role, intentionally walked Melky Cabrera to load the bases with none out to set the stage for the Blue Jays’ second straight walk-off win over Detroit.

Munenori Kawasaki, who trotted in with the winning run as the ball bounced against the wall over a drawn in outfield, started the inning with a single. He moved to third when Porcello fielded Jose Reyes’ sacrifice bunt but threw the ball away.

The Jays trailed 5-0 in the fourth inning.

At six hours and 37 minutes — and 19 innings — it was the longest game in Blue Jays history.

The Blue Jays had several glorious chances to end it earlier. But Juan Francisco in the ninth and 15th innings and Bautista, in the 13th, failed to produce the winning run with the bases loaded. The Blue Jays left 24 runners on base. The Tigers, who loaded the bases with one out in the 16th but couldn’t score, left 19 runners on.

Toronto (63-56) now hits the road for eight games over the next 10 days beginning Monday night in Seattle. Just as they did a day earlier, the Blue Jays tied it in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday. And Detroit’s Joba Chamberlain, who took the loss in Saturday’s game, was again victimized by the Blue Jays.

After Anthony Gose had a pinch hit single to open the ninth, Colby Rasmus struck out. Gose was called out on the play as he tried to steal second, but the decision was reversed after a video play review.

Chamberlain coaxed a fly ball out of Kawasaki before Reyes hit a sharp single to centre field and a sliding Gose scored from second ahead of the throw from Ezequiel Carrera to tie it 5-5. It was redemption for Reyes, who booted what should have been an inning-ending ground ball out in the first inning, opening the door to three unearned runs by Detroit.

The Blue Jays had a chance to win it in the ninth but after a walk to Cabrera and an intentional free pass to Bautista, Chamberlain struck out Francisco with the bases loaded. The Tigers (63-52) appeared to be on their way to victory. J.D. Martinez led the way with three RBIs as they increased their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning with newly acquired David Price on the mound. The former Tampa Bay Ray, who came over in a trade on July 31, is 15-2 in his career against the Blue Jays.

The Toronto comeback got starter Mark Buehrle (11-8) off the hook. The veteran left-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings in what was his second straight poor outing. He lasted just four innings against Baltimore in a 9-3 loss at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night and Sunday was Buehrle’s second-shortest appearance of the season after going three innings in a 6-4 loss at Yankee Stadium on July 25.

Price had yielded just two singles and retired eight in a row before the Blue Jays got to him in the sixth. Danny Valencia, who had singled earlier, drilled a comebacker off Price’s midsection and the ball bounced past Miguel Cabrera at first base and into right field as the Toronto infielder scampered to second.

After Price was visited by the trainer and took a few warm-up tosses to make sure he could continue, Dioner Navarro pounded the first pitch he saw into the Blue Jays bullpen for his ninth home run of the season. The drive cut the Tigers’ lead to 5-2 and brought the sellout crowd of 46,126 to life.

The Blue Jays gave them more to roar about in the seventh. A leadoff walk to Steve Tolleson and a single by Colby Rasmus spelled the end of Price’s day. After Kawasaki pinch hit for Ryan Goins and grounded into a fielder’s choice, Reyes and Melky Cabrera had back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-4.

The Blue Jays rally ended when Bautista struck out on a 3-2 count and Reyes, running on the pitch, was tagged out at third after a superb throw by Alex Avila, the Detroit catcher.

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