TORONTO -- John Gibbons figures he's a good extra-innings manager. He was the Blue Jays skipper the last time Toronto played 18 innings.
That was July 28, 2005, against the Angels.
On Saturday, Gibbons' 51st birthday, the Blue Jays matched their club record for the longest game, going 18 innings to edge the Texas Rangers
With Rajai Davis
at the plate, Rangers pitcher Ross Wolf attempted to check Emilio Bonifacio
at first, but his pickoff throw sailed under the glove of Texas first baseman, Lance Berkman
. The throwing error allowed Bonifacio to advance to third.
Davis then singled down the third base line, scoring Bonifacio and ending a game that took five hours and 28 minutes to decide.
"Relief, a lot of relief. Thank God, wow," Davis said. "I had a feeling he was going to try and sink it in, just to get ahead. It seems liked that's been his pitch and I was able to square it up enough."
Wolf (1-1), who took over in the 12th and pitched 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, admitted his error came at a bad time.
"I take the blame for that loss cause it should've never happened, throw it away, especially with a runner on," he said. "Bonifacio, he's fast, but the good thing is we had two outs. Rajai hit a ground ball that just found room this time."
Aaron Loup (3-3) picked up the win for the Jays. Brad Lincoln
, who pitched four innings of one-hit baseball, was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo after the game with a corresponding move coming Sunday.
"I'm not going to let dictate what happened after the game take anything away with what I did during the game," Lincoln said. "But the business side of it does kind of sting.
"Playing 18-inning and 17-inning games in a week, you kind of expect it, I have a feeling I'll be back soon. I just have to do down there and keep doing what I've been doing."
Toronto (27-34) extended its winning streak to three games, its longest streak since the Blue Jays won four in a row from May 11-15.
Texas (36-25) continued to search for offense. The Rangers have scored three runs or fewer in eight times during a 4-8 stretch.
"We're definitely struggling a bit offensively, but I think if you look at the big picture and you look at our body of work this season, I feel like this is the first real rut that we've been in," said David Murphy
, who came into the game in the ninth and finished 1 for 4. "I wouldn't even call it a terrible one.
"If we can come away with a win tomorrow, it'll nice to take that into the homestand."
Toronto's Macier Izturis and Texas' Elvis Andrus were with the Angels for the game against the Blue Jays in 2005. Jason Frasor, a relief pitcher for Texas, was a member of the Jays in July 2005.
The 18 innings also matched a club record for the Rangers, who played 18 innings five previous times, with the most recent game coming June 24, 2004, against the Mariners.
Toronto's Dustin McGowan
made his first appearance since Sept. 26, 2011, entering the game in the 10th. After loading the bases, McGowan struck out Jeff Baker.
McGowan left after a third of an inning with the bases loaded.
It was only his sixth major league appearance for the Blue Jays since July 8, 2008.
Jose Bautista gunned down Berkman trying to score on Leonys Martin's sacrifice fly to end the inning.
The Blue Jays' bullpen entered the game having not surrendered a run in five games during June, allowing only five hits in 17 2/3 innings.
Steve Delabar got out of a jam in the eighth after putting two on, but in the ninth, Casey Janssen
was not as fortunate and could not hold a 3-1 lead.
After retiring Baker, Martin singled to right and Janssen walked Murphy. A.J. Pierzynski's single scored Martin, pulling the Rangers to within one.
Andrus' sacrifice fly scored Murphy, tying the score at 3. It was Janssen's first blown save of the season.
Toronto got out to a 3-0 lead in the third.
After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Adam Lind
singled. Two batters later, Colby Rasmus tripled to right, scoring both runners. Rasmus scored on an error by Jurickson Profar, who overthrew third baseman Leury Garcia.
With four singles, Lind picked up his ninth multi-hit game in his last 14 outings. Entering Saturday, Lind was hitting .469 (23-for-49), with five doubles and two home runs over his previous 13 games.
Lind finished 4-for-7 with a run scored.
Texas' Yu Darvish (7-2) finished with seven strikeouts in seven innings while allowing two earned runs and five hits.
The Rangers finally got to Mark Buehrle in the seventh, when Baker took the Blue Jays' starter deep to left for his eighth home run of the season.
Buehrle (2-4) went seven innings, allowing an earned run and four hits while striking out three. Baker's home run was the first allowed by Buehrle in five starts.
Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bloop single in the second. It is the longest active streak in the American League and the longest by a Ranger this season. Beltre entered the game hitting .420 during the streak.
NOTES: With the loss on Friday, the Rangers dropped behind Oakland and out of first place in the AL West for the first time since April 20. ... Texas had lost six of seven games on the road entering Saturday. ... Texas was .500 in day games this season (9-9) entering Saturday's game. ... Toronto activated Dustin McGowan on Friday. In a corresponding move, left-handed pitcher Evan Crawford was designated for assignment. ... The Blue Jays are expecting left-handed pitcher Darren Oliver (left shoulder strain) to join the team either Sunday or Monday. ... Although the Blue Jays have yet to announce the signing of Chien-Ming Wang, manager John Gibbons announced the right-handed pitcher would be the Blue Jays' Tuesday starter.
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