DENVER (AP) -- There were 15 pitchers, 514 pitches and 18
innings. The longest game in the history of the Colorado Rockies
finally ended after Luis Gonzalez's RBI single lifted the Arizona
Diamondbacks to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
"This," Colorado's Cory Sullivan said, "was a war of
attrition."This one ended about 45 minutes after another 18-inning game
Tuesday night -- the Chicago Cubs won 8-6 at Houston. It was the
first time in major league history two games on the same day lasted
as long as 18 innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.Eric Byrnes singled against Ramon Ramirez (3-3) to start the
18th, Orlando Hudson sacrificed and Gonzalez singled up the middle."The first pitch Ramirez threw was a fastball, and I swung
through it," Gonzalez said. "After that I just took a two-strike
approach to get the ball up the middle and bring Byrnes in. The
pitch I hit was a fastball down, but I got just enough of it.
That's all it takes in this game."Gonzalez had been 0-for-7."Talk about a fighter," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He
was out there without a hit, and to go that long and not have a
hit, that's hard."Brandon Medders (5-2), Arizona's eighth pitcher, struck out four
in three hitless innings, getting the final out when Ryan
Spilborghs was called out at 12:26 a.m. MDT. Diamondbacks relievers
allowed six hits in 12 shutout innings, striking out 13 and walking
four in a game that lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.Six Colorado relievers allowed seven hits in 10 innings with 12
strikeouts and two walks."It was exceptional pitched game on both sides," Colorado
manager Clint Hurdle said. "There were missed opportunities on
both sides and, unfortunately, they were able to execute the one
inning, the 18th."Before Tuesday, the Rockies' longest game was a 15-inning, 4-2
win at the Chicago Cubs in the second game of a doubleheader on
July 4, 1994. The longest game by time previously was a 6-5 win
against Montreal on April 27, 1996, that took 4:51.Arizona matched its longest game by innings, a 1-0 win at San
Francisco on May 29, 2001, that took 5:53.Only about 3,000 fans among the announced crowd of 22,076
remained for the final out. There were 264 pitches by the
Diamondbacks staff.Sullivan matched a career high with four hits, going 4-for-8.
Brad Hawpe had three hits and Clint Barmes had a pair of doubles
for Colorado."We were focused to win, but the legs and the body didn't
respond," Sullivan said.Chad Tracy and Byrnes each had three hits for the Diamondbacks.Arizona starter Miguel Batista allowed seven hits in six
innings, while Colorado's Jason Jennings gave up five hits in eight
innings.Byrnes hit an RBI single in the third, but Jamey Carroll
grounded into a run-scoring double play in the fifth after Barmes
doubled.Colorado got a runner to third base in the ninth before Carroll
flied out against Juan Cruz. With runners at the corners and two
outs in the 13th, Tracy took a called third strike from Ray King.Arizona remained tied for second in the NL West, 3½ games behind
Los Angeles."If we would have lost, it would have been a huge blow,"
Gonzalez said. "We are in the thick of a race."