AJ Pollock led off the 16th inning with a two-run homer and the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers beat the struggling San Diego Padres 5-3 early Thursday in by far the longest major league game since pandemic rules were implemented last year.
No game had lasted longer than 13 innings since MLB began putting an automatic runner on second base to start extra innings before the shortened 2020 season.
This one started at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday and ended at 12:59 a.m. Thursday. It took 5 hours, 49 minutes to play.
Pollock’s 16th homer came off rookie reliever Daniel Camarena (0-1), the ninth Padres pitcher. The Dodgers used 10 pitchers, including winner Corey Knebel (4-0) and Shane Greene, who worked the 16th for his first save.
Greene was the 47th player of 52 on the two active rosters to appear in the game.
Pollock had a big game in a 5-2 win in the series opener Tuesday night, robbing Manny Machado of a two-run homer and hitting a two-run single.
Pinch-hitter Billy McKinney and Trea Turner had given the Dodgers a 3-1 lead with consecutive RBI singles with one out in the 15th.
But then Fernando Tatis Jr. tied it at 3 with a two-run homer to right field with one out in the 15th, his NL-leading 35th.
Tatis’ home run was just the fourth hit of the night for the Padres and their first since the fifth. It came an inning after the 14th-inning stretch.
The Dodgers won for the 11th time in 12 games. The Padres, who wasted a brilliant start by Blake Snell, lost their third straight and for the 11th time in 13 games.
Snell and Dodgers ace Walker Buehler were outstanding but were long gone by the time the game ended.
The Padres ran out of position players in extra innings and had to have pitchers Ryan Weathers and Joe Musgrove pinch-hit. Musgrove struck out with the bases loaded to end the 11th and Weathers hit into a force to end the 13th. Each time, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had Machado and Jake Cronenworth intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs.
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