ST. PETERSBURG — The records fell Friday as the innings piled up, with the Rays and Orioles playing the longest game in the history of their respective franchises.
The Rays won 5-4 in the 18th inning when David DeJesus drove home Desmond Jennings with the winning run Saturday at 2:05 a.m.
The game, the longest in Rays history in terms of innings, took 6 hours, 54 minutes to play.
Luke Scott wore a Chewbacca mask and Jamey Wright wore the mask of Gene Simmons of KISS fame in the dugout during the 18th inning. Those are props used during Rays' post-victory parties.
Chris Gimenez said they were about to bring out some of their musical instruments, but the game ended. Sam Fuld said they would have brought the postgame spread to the dugout in the 19th inning.
RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who pitched the final 2ß innings, was the winning pitcher.
“That was the craziest seven hours of my life,” Hellickson said.
RHP Jake Odorizzi, who pitched four innings for Durham on Tuesday in the Triple-A national championship game, allowed a hit and a walk in 3ª innings.
The teams combined for 144 plate appearances (73 by the Rays). It was the first AL game since 1985 that went at least 18 innings without a home run. It was the 17th time this season the Rays blew a lead in the seventh inning or later, and only the fourth time they came back to win.
It was the first time the Rays won a game that went longer than 14 innings.
DeJesus tied his career high with four hits. DH Wil Myers was 0-for-8, making him the first Ray to go hitless in a game when he had at least eight at-bats.
Jennings, who was scratched from the starting lineup because of neck stiffness but played the final nine innings and had a pair of hits, called it the biggest win of the season.
“You don't want to play seven hours and lose,” he said.
Romero gets the call
LHP Enny Romero will be called up today and will make his major-league debut in the third game of this four-game series.
Romero, who can hit 100 mph on the radar gun with his fastball, made 27 starts this season for Double-A Montgomery and one for Triple-A Durham. He was 11-7 with a 2.76 ERA with the Biscuits. He threw eight shutout innings against Norfolk in his lone start with the Bulls.
The Rays are hoping the hard-throwing 22-year-old lefty will catch the Orioles off-guard, much like LHP Matt Moore did to the Yankees and Rangers in September and October of 2011.
Romero was twice selected for the World team at the Futures Game.
That RHP Alex Cobb saved the bullpen in Saturday's win will give the Rays plenty of backup if Romero doesn't pitch deep into the game.
The Rays also traded RHP Frank De Los Santos to the White Sox for cash or a player to be named. That opens a spot on the 40-man roster that could be used today if the Rays activate RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain).
Jennings said he's is playing more relaxed since his Sept. 11 pep talk with manager Joe Maddon.
“Joe talked to me and kind of wanted me to, just kind of a lack of confidence, just to build my confidence back up, just to go out and play and not worry about anything,” Jennings said.
Jennings is hitting .297 since then. He drove in four runs in Saturday's win with the first three-run homer of his career and a triple.
“He has a good look about him,” Maddon said. “There's no question about that.”
The Rays recalled LHP Jeff Beliveau before Saturday's game. ... RHP Fernando Rodney retired both batters he faced Saturday for his 16th scoreless outing in his past 17 appearances. ... The Rays have won nine of their past 11 against the Orioles. ... SS Yunel Escobar and Jennings both tripled in the seventh inning. It was the first time the Rays had two triples in one inning since June 6, 2012