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Saturday's marathon recalls an earlier epic

CLEVELAND -- If the bases seemed over-populated during Saturday night's marathon, there was a reason. The Indians left 20 runners stranded over the 14 innings in their 7-6 loss.

That matched a record by a Royals opponent.

On June 6, 1991, in the Royals' famous "longest day" game, the Rangers left 20 runners on base -- but they did it over 18 innings in a 4-3 loss. That afternoon game in Kansas City featured a terrific pitching matchup in Texas' Nolan Ryan against Bret Saberhagen. But, by the end of the day, hardly anyone recalled who started.

That game tied the Royals' longest game by innings in their history -- they also played 18 against the Rangers on May 17, 1972. The 1991 epic also consumed 6 hours and 28 minutes, the longest game by time in Royals history.

It ended in the 18th, after the Rangers turned to starter Kenny Rogers to pitch that inning. Kevin Seitzer lined a single to left-center field, Brent Mayne walked and Kurt Stillwell bunted. Rogers fielded the bunt, tried to force Seitzer at third, but threw wildly and Seitzer scampered home with the Royals' winning run.

Other tidbits from Saturday night's game:

• This was only the seventh time since 1918 that the Indians have stranded at least 20 runners in a game. It was their most since 23 on May 7, 1995.

• The Royals, held to three hits by Tribe relievers in the last 10 innings, left just six on base.

• When Alex Gordon walked in his first plate appearance, it was only the second base on balls for the Royals in the first six games on this road trip. Gordon had his only previous walk last Tuesday at Detroit. Gordon also walked in his second appearance, and the Royals drew three more before the long night ended.

• The two bullpens combined to work 23 innings, throwing 351 pitches.

• The Royals used nine pitchers, tying their all-time mark for one game -- set earlier this year on July 13 against Chicago.

• The six-run third inning tied the Royals' mark for most runs in one inning this season, accomplished for the fourth time. In the inning, they batted around for the 12th time.

• The Royals' record in extra innings improved to 8-7. It gave them a 27-25 record in one-run games, and they're second in victories only to Baltimore's 28.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
Read More: Kansas City Royals, Bret Saberhagen, Alex Gordon