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Guardians eliminate Rays in record-breaking, 15-inning game

Man wearing a uniform throwing a baseball
Sue Ogrocki/AP
/
AP
Tampa Bay Rays' Tyler Glasnow pitches in the first inning of a wild card baseball playoff game against the Cleveland Guardians, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Cleveland.

Tampa Bay was bounced quickly from its fourth straight postseason appearance. They ended the season with seven straight losses.

The longest scoreless postseason game in major league history ended poorly for the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday when a home run off Corey Kluber in the 15th inning gave the Cleveland Guardians a 1-0 win.

The Rays were swept in two games in the AL Wild Card Series.

Cleveland Guardian Rookie Oscar Gonzalez drove the 432nd pitch in the nearly five-hour game, over the 19-foot wall in left-center to touch off a celebration.

AL Central champion Cleveland opens the best-of-five Division Series on Tuesday at the AL East champ New York Yankees.

"The Yankees are obviously a great team and we know we have our work cut out for us, but these guys embrace the challenge," said Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti.

Cleveland has defied odds in its first season after adopting the Guardians nickname. The team ran away in the AL Central by going 24-6 down the stretch, swept the more experienced Rays and now take on the Yankees with their big bats and bigger payroll ($254 million to Cleveland's $68 million).

Gonzalez was among 17 players to make their debut for the Guardians this season, so perhaps it was fitting he advanced them.

"I don't think by that point we cared," manager Terry Francona said. "It could have been one of the old guys. We didn't care. We're not biased. I was happy that he hit it."

Tampa Bay was bounced quickly from its fourth straight postseason appearance.

The Rays finished with seven straight losses, scored one run in the series and hit .115 (9 for 78) with one extra-base hit.

"I saw guys trying to do too much," manager Kevin Cash said. "We were looking for the three-run homer with nobody on base. When you take that mindset against good pitchers, they can kind of sit you down."

The tense, 4-hour, 57-minute game was the longest 0-0 affair in postseason history, surpassing the 2020 NL Wild Card Series opener between Atlanta and Cincinnati that went 13 innings. The teams combined for a postseason record 39 strikeouts — 20 by Rays batters.

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