ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Neither team had a hit over the first four innings. The game finally ended after 4 hours, 57 minutes and 506 pitches when Jeff Mathis' sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 16th inning gave the Los Angeles Angels a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
The Angels got home runs from Mike Napoli and rookie Peter Bourjos in the longest game of the season for both teams. Each used eight pitchers."That's battling. That's the fight we were looking for," said Torii Hunter, who doubled and scored the winning run. "Even if we would have lost the game, I promise you, I still would have been so happy because we showed a little fight. That's how you ball. You go out there and keep battling no matter what."Cleveland rookie Hector Ambriz (0-2), working his fourth inning of relief, gave up the leadoff double to left-center by Hunter on the 500th pitch of the game. Hunter advanced on Alberto Callaspo's grounder to first base and jogged home after Mathis' fly ball to right field."We did what we had to do," Hunter said. "The fans definitely got their money's worth. They got two games for the price of one. I'm so tired. I mean, 500 pitches is a lot. We all were tired. We just kept drinking Gatorade, coffee ... I started shaking in the 14th inning. I was having withdrawal."Matt Palmer (1-1) pitched three innings of two-hit relief for the victory, striking out the side in the 15th."My hat goes off to those guys in the bullpen, coming in and having to do some extra work tonight," Mathis said. "Matt threw the ball well. He was locating his sinker and his fastball and mixing the breaking ball. He did a great job."Fernando Rodney, who took over the closer's role for the Angels after Brian Fuentes was traded to Minnesota on Aug. 27, gave up the tying run in the ninth on a one-out RBI single by pinch-hitter Jayson Nix. The blown save was Rodney's fourth in 12 opportunities this season, and just his fifth in 52 chances dating to 2008 with Detroit."There's not a lot pitchers can control besides making pitches. He had a broken-bat hit, an infield hit, another off the end of the bat," manager Mike Scioscia said in Rodney's defense. "Closers are going to get nicked up here and there. But I think his stuff looks good. It's all there. He has all the potential to be the closer we need."Callaspo singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth and tried to score on a pitch from Joe Smith that broke off the glove of catcher Lou Marson and to the right of home plate. But Marson, who entered the game that inning after Nix batted for starting catcher Chris Gimenez, hustled after the ball and threw to Smith for the tag on Callaspo."On the offensive side, it was like root canal. Some things are a little painful right now," Scioscia said. "We just couldn't execute some little things that might have ended it a lot sooner."Cleveland center fielder Michael Brantley robbed Juan Rivera of a home run leading off the 10th against Justin Germano, after the Indians stranded two runners in scoring position in the top of the inning on a groundout by Andy Marte against Bobby Cassevah. The rookie right-hander escaped another jam in the 11th, retiring Asdrubal Cabrera on a comebacker with runners at the corners.The Indians stranded a season-high 16 baserunners, surpassing the 14 they left on base against the Angels in a 5-2 loss on April 26 at Anaheim."Unfortunately we had a few situations where we could've put the game away, but we didn't come up with the big hit," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "When you play that long, yes, you want to win and it hurts. But you have to look at the positive side -- that we're still pitching well. And that's something to make us happy."The Angels loaded the bases in the 11th against Germano, who gave up a walk and a hit-and-run single to Hunter before walking Callaspo intentionally to set up a possible double play. But Mathis fouled out to Marson on an attempted suicide squeeze and Erick Aybar struck out."We've been struggling to push them across as it is, so we tried any way we could to push one across there," Mathis said. "The pitch was down and away, but it was a pitch I've gotten down before and I should have gotten down tonight. I didn't get it done, but luckily, we got another runner on and I got another shot at it. I was glad I got a second chance, for sure."Scott Kazmir matched Cleveland's Josh Tomlin pitch-for-pitch through the fourth and left after six innings with a 3-1 lead before the Angels' bullpen squandered it.Marte, who came in with four hits in five career at-bats against Kazmir, struck out both times up against the left-hander. His next time up, he hit his fourth homer of the season with one out in the seventh off rookie right-hander Jordan Walden to trim the Angels' lead to 3-2.Kazmir allowed a run and two hits, struck out six and walked three. Tomlin gave up three runs and three hits over six innings, walked three and struck out four in his eighth career start.
For the third straight game, an Angels pitcher threw the ball away trying to pick off a runner at first base. This time it was in the 16th, when Shin-Soo Choo advanced on the error by Palmer after drawing a two-out walk. Jordan Brown stranded him with a comebacker. ... Neither team had a hit until Cleveland's Jason Donald led off the fifth with a double inside third base and scored one out later on a single by Trevor Crowe. But Napoli put the Angels ahead in the bottom half with his 23rd homer, a two-run shot and their first hit.