TORONTO — As fans filed out of Rogers Centre following the longest game in Toronto Blue Jays history, Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” played over the sound system.
For a while, it looked like the “day” game might just go all night.
Jose Bautista’s single in the 19th inning drove home the winning run as the Blue Jays rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 on Sunday.
“It was a long day today and coming out on top is the only thing that matters,” Bautista said.
Munenori Kawasaki singled off Rick Porcello (13-7) to begin the 19th and advanced to third when second baseman and Canyon del Oro High grad Ian Kinsler couldn’t field an errant throw from Porcello on Jose Reyes’ sacrifice bunt. Melky Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bautista, who ended it with a single to right over the drawn-in outfield, sending his teammates streaming out of the dugout in celebration.
Porcello, who threw 110 pitches over seven innings against the Yankees on Thursday, and tossed a 30-pitch bullpen session Saturday, worked two-plus innings out of the bullpen as the Tigers used eight pitchers.
Led by a six-inning stint from Chad Jenkins (1-1), Toronto’s bullpen threw 15º innings of scoreless relief. The Blue Jays also used eight pitchers.
“I was just out of gas,” Jenkins said. “I haven’t thrown six innings all year.”
At 6:37, it was the longest game by time in Blue Jays history, easily surpassing a 5:57 game against the Yankees on April 19, 2001.
The lights at Rogers Centre were turned on in the 13th inning, fans rose for a 14th-inning stretch and the grounds crew came back out to clean the field for a second time as the marathon affair dragged on.
“A lot of things you don’t see in everyday baseball seemed to all happen in this game,” Tigers reliever Joe Nathan said.