Two heavily bearded men shared a kiss at Rogers Centre on Sunday night, a sure sign that the pennant race is getting hot and heavy for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jays slugger Jose Bautista capped a five-run rally by lining an RBI single to right in the bottom of the 19th inning against Rick Porcello for a 6-5 victory against the Detroit Tigers. After mercifully bringing the longest game in club history to an end, Bautista was showered with water and given a warm kiss on the cheek by right-hander R.A. Dickey, who had been warming up in the bullpen.
"It was a long day today and coming out on top is the only thing that matters,'' Bautista said after the teams played 6 hours, 37 minutes.
Never before in major league history had two games gone at least 19 innings on consecutive days. A day before, Albert Pujols of the Angels beat the Red Sox with a walk-off home run in the 19th.
The Blue Jays used 22 of 25 players on their roster. Toronto's bullpen threw 15 2/3 scoreless innings, led by Chad Jenkins' six. Melky Cabrera went 3 for 5 with five walks, and Toronto took 14 walks in all.
The Tigers used every available player except Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Porcello pitched two-plus innings, a day after throwing 30 pitches in a bullpen side session. Porcello, who also threw 110 pitches against the Yankees on Thursday, said the Rogers Centre mound was treacherous by the time he got there.
"It was one big crater," he said.
ROYALS CREEPING CLOSER: Kansas City won its seventh straight, 7-4 against the San Francisco Giants, to move within one-half game of the Tigers in the AL Central.
Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez hit home runs, with Gordon's coming against Tim Lincecum in a four-run first inning. The Royals stole seven bases (three apiece by Jarrod Dyson and Norichika Aoki), just one shy of the club record. Lincecum has a 10.59 ERA over his past four starts.
BRAVES' WOOD TOO GOOD FOR NATIONALS: Left-hander Alex Wood struck out 12 and the Atlanta Braves improved to 9-4 this season against the Washington Nationals with a 3-1 victory at Turner Field. Wood allowed five hits over 7 1/3 innings, notably a solo homer by Ian Desmond, and threw 124 pitches, a career high.
Justin Upton hit a solo home run for the Braves, giving him 1,000 hits and 500 RBIs for his career.
CESPEDES GETS ON THE BOARD FOR BOSTON: The Boston Red Sox needed a pick-me-up after losing in 19 innings the day before, and slugger Yoenis Cespedes came through with a three-run home run to power his new team to a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Angels.
His blast against Joe Smith broke a scoreless tie in the eighth. It was his first home run in eight games since coming over in the Jon Lester trade.
''I knew I hit it well, but I didn't know it was going to be a home run,'' Cespedes said through a translator. ''(The power drought) doesn't bother me or make me worry. I'm just putting good swings on the ball.''
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