During the 1971 season, four games went at least 20 innings. The first took place on June 4 in Washington, when the visiting Athletics defeat the Senators in 21 innings, 5-3. It was the first time the A's -- since moving to Oakland for the 1968 season -- had played in a 20-inning affair, but that marathon would soon have a companion.
Just a little more than a month later, on July 9, Oakland hosted the Angels and staggered away with a 20-inning, 1-0 victory. Long after starters Rudy May (12 innings, 13 strikeouts) and Vida Blue (11 innings, 17 K's) were gone from the game, Angel Mangual drove in Curt Blefary with the winning run in the bottom of the 20th inning, and Oakland had two wins in two tries when it came to more than doubling up on the anticipated nine.
Oakland hasn't played any 20-inning games since that 1971 season, but with victories in both a 19-inning contest and an 18-inning affair in 2013, the current Athletics club does have a claim that very few teams can make.
On Thursday, the A's defeated the Yankees, 3-2, in 18 innings, On April 29 this year, the Athletics beat the Angels in 19 innings. Oakland is the seventh team since 1916 to have two wins in 18-inning (or longer) games in the same season. The others: the '27 Cubs, '67 Yankees, '67 Senators, '69 Twins, '71 Athletics and '85 Mets.
Since moving to Oakland, Thursday's 18-inning win marked the eighth Athletics game that had gone at least 18 innings. With the victory, the club is 7-1 in those eight games.
Oakland's seventh pitcher Thursday -- Jesse Chavez -- worked 5 2/3 innings of one-hit, no-run ball, striking out seven and picking up the win. There have been 28 relief pitchers since 1916 to finish with a line of at least five scoreless innings, no more than one hit, at least seven strikeous and a win, with Randy Johnson (July 18, 2001) being the most recent to do it before Chavez.
Yanks have nothing to show for marathon
Thursday's Oakland-New York epic marked the 12th game in Yankees history to go at least 18 innings. The most recent time they had played one so long was on Sept. 11, 1988, when they defeated the Tigers in 18 innings.
The Yankees had three players -- Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells -- collect at least seven at-bats and finish the day without a hit. Dating back to 1916, the Yankees are the 11th team to have three players go hitless while collecting at least seven at-bats. With the Athletics' Derek Norris also going 0-for-7 on Thursday, it marked the 11th game since 1916 in which two teams combined for at least four players going 0-for-7 or worse.
The fifth Yankees pitcher of the day -- Adam Warren -- threw six innings of four-hit, no-run ball. He was the first Yankees reliever since Kei Igawa on April 28, 2007, to have a relief outing lasting at least six innings with no runs allowed.
The Yankees' only two runs came in the first, when Robinson Cano hit a two-run home run.
Cubs-Reds go 14
In another long affair Thursday, the Cubs beat the Reds, 6-5, in 14 innings. Pinch-hitter Julio Borbon drove in the winning run on a single. Before Borbon, the most recent Cubs pinch-hitter to have a walk-off hit in the 14th inning or later was Angel Echevarria, on July 12, 2002. In a 5-4 win against the Marlins that day, Echevarria won the game with a single in the 16th.
Cubs pitchers notched 19 strikeouts in the win. It marked the fifth game this season in which a pitching staff had recorded at least 19 K's. The most such games in a season since 1998 was seven, in 2001.
Before Thursday, Cubs pitchers had last collected at least 19 K's on July 26, 2008 (20 strikeouts). Before this loss, Reds batters had last fanned at least 19 times on Aug. 30, 2009 (20 strikeouts).
There have been 14 games this season that have lasted at least 14 innings. Since 1998, the 2002 season had the most such games in a full year, with 22. In '02, there were 13 by the end of June. There have been four games this season that have lasted at least 18 innings, tying the '06 campaign for the most in a single year since 1998.
Wainwright reaches double-digit wins
Adam Wainwright allowed four hits (all singles) in seven scoreless innings and improved to 10-3, as the Cardinals defeated the Mets, 2-1. With the effort, Wainwright lowered his ERA to 2.18.
Wainwright is one of 23 Cardinals pitchers since 1916 to have at least 10 wins through the team's first 66 games. Among these 23, his 2.18 ERA is the fifth lowest, behind Red Munger (1.22) in 1944, Mort Cooper (1.24) in '42, Bob Gibson (1.80) in '68 and Cooper (2.07) in '43.
Wainwright has made 14 starts this season totaling 103 innings. In 11 of them, he finished with at least seven innings pitched and no home runs allowed. Those 11 are the most in the Majors, one ahead of Clayton Kershaw's total.
Wainwright finished Thursday's game with six strikeouts, with his first of the day -- getting David Wright looking in the first -- representing the 1,000th of his career. Wainwright is the fifth Cardinals pitcher with at least 1,000 K's, joining Gibson (3,117), Dizzy Dean (1,095), Chris Carpenter (1,085) and Bob Forsch (1,079).
Davis clutch in 13th
The Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 5-4, in 13 innings, with Chris Davis driving in the winning run on a single.
The walk-off hit gave Davis 56 RBIs this season. His 56 RBIs through 67 team games ties him for the seventh most for any Orioles player. Eddie Murray had 60 in 1984, and is followed by Brooks Robinson ('66), Frank Robinson ('67) and Rafael Palmeiro ('96) -- all with 59. Miguel Tejada had 58 in 2004, Boog Powell had 57 in 1969, and Albert Belle had 56 in 2000.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.