ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Desmond Jennings drove in four runs, Alex Cobb took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 Saturday in a matchup of exhausted teams to maintain their lead in the AL wild-card race.
The first pitch came 10 hours, 56 minutes after the Rays’ 5-4, 18-inning win over Baltimore that ended at 2:05 a.m., a game that stretched on for 6:54 — a record time for both teams. Saturday’s game, by comparison, seemed to breeze by in 2:51.
Tampa Bay (85-69) moved one game ahead of Cleveland (84-70), which led for the second wild-card berth pending its game against Houston later Saturday. The Orioles (81-73) dropped three games behind the Indians and now have three others teams in front of them.
Cobb didn’t allow a hit until Steve Clevenger lined a single to right with two outs in the fifth. The Orioles had only two hits over the final 11 innings Friday.
Chris Davis tripled with one out in the ninth off Cobb, a fly ball David DeJesus struggled to locate in left. Adam Jones followed with an RBI single that chased Cobb, who struck out 12 and walked two. Closer Fernando Rodney completed the three-hitter.
Miguel Gonzalez (10-8) Gonzalez gave up three runs, two hits and five walks in six innings. The right-hander had been 2-0 with an 0.92 ERA in his previous three starts at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay went ahead in the fifth when Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar walked and, one out later, Jennings hit his career-hight 14th homer.
Jennings added an RBI triple in the seventh and scored on Ben Zobrist’s single off Francisco Rodriguez.
Eleven players who went the distance Friday came back to start Saturday: Baltimore’s Davis, Jones, Nick Markakis, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy and Danny Valencia, and Tampa Bay’s Zobrist, DeJesus, Escobar, Wil Myers and Evan Longoria. Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, who caught all 18 inning, was rested.
Someone jokingly wrote “Early hitting 7 a.m.” on the message board in Tampa Bay’s clubhouse Saturday morning.
NOTES: Baltimore recalled LHPs Mike Belfiore and Zach Britton from Triple-A Norfolk. … Tampa Bay recalled LHP Jeff Beliveau from Triple-A Durham. … Myers went 0 for 8 Friday and became the first Tampa Bay player to go hitless in eight or more at-bats in one game. The rookie went 0 for 4 Saturday.
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