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August 14, 2013

What You Need to Know

Extra Innings Everywhere

by Daniel Rathman


The Tuesday Takeaway
Anyone who’s a fan of free baseball—and hey, who isn’t?—got a week’s worth of it on Tuesday night.

As the clock neared midnight in the Eastern time zone, three games—White Sox vs. Tigers, Pirates vs. Cardinals, and Orioles vs. Diamondbacks—were knotted at three runs apiece, all either in extra innings already or on the cusp. And that’s not to mention the three 10-plus-frame contests that took place earlier in the evening, when the Red Sox edged the Blue Jays, the Reds downed the Cubs, and the Marlins outlasted the Royals in the 1-0 aftermath of a Jose Fernandez-Bruce Chen duel.

Here is more on the troika of 3-3 showdowns, two of which were decided in 11 innings and one of which dragged on into the night, first getting weird, and then getting #weird, before finally coming to an end in the 13th, five minutes shy of the five-hour mark.

First stop: U.S. Cellular Field, where a two-run triple by former Tiger Avisail Garcia, which effectively became a three-run inside-the-parker on a throwing error by Omar Infante, put Max Scherzer in line for his second defeat of the season and ultimately resulted in his first no-decision since May 31. Scherzer might well have suffered that setback were it not for a fielding flub by Alexei Ramirez, who committed a career-high three errors, the second of which led to the Tigers’ third run on an eighth-inning single by Brayan Pena.

Garcia, who was at least partially responsible for all three of Chicago’s regulation runs, also scored the winning one in the 11th. He drew a walk off Jeremy Bonderman, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Keppinger, advanced to third on a grounder to first by Jordan Danks, and touched the plate on a single by Alejandro De Aza.

So ended a four-hour-and-14-minute battle between the American League’s worst extra-inning teams. Only the White Sox, at 7-13, have dropped more games in the 10th inning or beyond than the Tigers, who on Tuesday fell to 5-11. Jim Leyland’s club is now 69-49 overall, but 64-38 in games decided in the ninth inning or sooner.

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