CHICAGO (AP)—No one was happier than Tadahito Iguchi when he put an end to a pre-All-Star break marathon on Sunday.
Iguchi’s bases-loaded single in the 19th sent the Chicago White Sox to a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox in a 6-hour, 19-minute game that began in sunshine and ended with the lights on at U.S. Cellular Field.
The teams used eight pitchers each and combined to throw 570 pitches.
Bothered by a sprained ankle, Iguchi looked a bit weary as his teammates mobbed him near the first-base line after the White Sox avoided a three-game sweep in the matchup of the last two World Series winners.
“I’m glad it ended when it did,” Iguchi said. “Now I’m ready to use the All-Star break to get healthy.”
After the Red Sox scored two in the 11th, the White Sox responded with two in their half. Then it looked for a while like the game might never end.
“We’re not going to quit because we’re in extra innings and everybody is tired,” Dye said. “There were some crazy things going on out there.”
The White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the 19th off Rudy Seanez (2-1), the eighth Boston pitcher, using consecutive singles by Alex Cintron, Rob Mackowiak and Scott Podsednik. Iguchi then singled between shortstop and third base.
Cliff Politte (2-2) worked the top of the 19th for the win. It was the longest game by both innings and time in the majors this season.
“You got to keep going and keep running out there,” Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
It was Boston’s longest game by innings since going 19 innings on Aug. 1, 2000, against Seattle and the White Sox’s longest since playing 19 at Milwaukee in May 1991. It was also the longest game by innings at U.S. Cellular Field, which opened in 1991.
“It was mentally and physically exhausting trying to concentrate for that many pitches,” Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta said.
“It’s grueling. It’s emotionally draining. It becomes really an endurance match after a while. … It’s deflating when you have a lead and they come back a couple of different times.”
Loretta’s two-run, two-out single in the top of the 11th gave Boston the lead again, but the White Sox tied it in the bottom half, despite some crazy baserunning.
Pinch-runner Ross Gload held at third on the double and then the Red Sox walked A.J. Pierzynski intentionally to load the bases. When Joe Crede hit a liner to right-center, Trot Nixon made a running catch.
Gload wasn’t sure whether to tag or run and when he finally went back to the bag, Dye had already arrived there thinking Crede’s ball would drop. Dye raced back to second and Gload had to stay at third.
Cintron then hit what could have been a game-ending double-play grounder to second, but he beat the relay throw to first for a fielder’s choice to tie the game again.
Reliever Matt Thornton struck out Nixon with the bases loaded in the top of the 13th.
Dye’s 25th homer bailed Jose Contreras out again and kept his 17-game regular-season winning streak dating to last Aug. 15 intact. It is the third time in his last five starts that Contreras got a no-decision after leaving the game with Chicago trailing.
Red Sox starter Curt Schilling worked six strong innings, allowing two runs and five hits, including a line-drive RBI single by Thome that hit him in the right elbow in the sixth. Schilling stayed in the game and retired the final two batters, leaving with a 3-2 lead. But then his elbow began to swell.
“It’s pretty swollen and pretty sore,” Schilling said after the game. “The spot were it got me, it wasn’t going to be long. As soon as I got in the dugout within 20 or 30 seconds, there was no shot of me being able to throw a baseball.”
Contreras allowed only four hits in six innings, but struggled with his control, walking five and throwing a pair of wild pitches.
David Ortiz delivered a run-scoring single in the first after Youkilis drew a leadoff walk and moved up on a wild pitch. Lowell hit his 11th homer in the fourth and Boston went up 3-0 when Contreras hit Loretta with a bases-loaded pitch.
Iguchi’s 10th homer made it 3-1 in the bottom of the inning.
Chicago’s Brian Anderson doubled to lead off the sixth. One out later, Iguchi walked before Thome sent a hard liner up the middle that hit Schilling and ricocheted into the outfield for an RBI single to make it 3-2. Iguchi raced to third but was stranded when Konerko flied out to shallow center and Dye struck out.
Pittsburgh beat Houston 8-7 in 18 innings on May 27. The game lasted 5 hours and 49 minutes and was the majors’ longest game this season by innings and time before Sunday. … Trot Nixon went 0-for-9 for the Red Sox. … Papelbon, who entered the game with a 0.41 ERA, has now given up just three runs all season. … Schilling’s start was the 400th of his career.