After the Los Angeles Angels stranded 16 runners through 18 innings — including nine in scoring position — Albert Pujols provided the biggest blow with no one on.
Pujols homered leading off the 19th inning, and the Angels outlasted the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Saturday night in the longest game in the major leagues this season.
Pujols’ 514th career homer and 22nd of the season came on a 3-2 pitch from Brandon Workman (1-6). The towering drive disappeared into the seats above the 5.5-meter (18-foot) wall in right-center.
“I had the opportunity twice to give the team the lead and I didn’t come through, but you just need to stay positive all the time and look for a pitch to hit,” Pujols said following a 6-hour, 31-minute marathon in which both teams used nine pitchers, and 558 pitches were thrown. “I did, and I put my best swing of the second half on it.”
Boston manager John Farrell made a replay challenge, claiming there was fan interference, but the home run stood.
The Angels had run out of relievers, so Matt Shoemaker (10-4) came in and retired all nine batters he faced to get the victory.
Los Angeles tied the game in both the eighth and 14th innings.
After David Ortiz gave Boston a 4-3 lead in the 14th with a sacrifice fly, the Angels loaded the bases with none out against Junichi Tazawa, the seventh Red Sox pitcher.
Mike Trout drove in the tying run with a fielder’s choice grounder that scored pinch hitter Chris Iannetta, who opened the inning with a double.
“That tells you something about this ballclub,” Pujols said. “We could have easily just say, ‘Forget it’ after David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly and just come back tomorrow. But Chris came back a hit a huge double and we ended up tying the game.
“A game like this can hopefully turn things around for us. And if that’s the case, it’s worth it to play 19 innings.”
Clay Buchholz, who gave up seven runs in each of his previous starts and threw a season-high 114 pitches last Sunday against the Yankees, took a 3-2 lead into the eighth. But Trout drove the right-hander’s 115th pitch into the seats in right-center with one out for his 26th home run, and just his second in 17 games.
“As hard-fought as we played this game — as did they — sometimes extended games can feel like two losses when you come out on the short end,” Farrell said. “But I couldn’t have been more proud of the way our guys battled through 19 innings.”
Five days after beating the Dodgers 5-0 for his first major league shutout, Angels starter Garrett Richards took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Dustin Pedroia broke it up with a leadoff single. It was the first of three straight hits, followed by two infield errors that helped Boston pull ahead 3-2.
Until then, Richards hadn’t allowed an unearned run all season. The 26-year-old right-hander from nearby Riverside was charged with three runs — one earned — and three hits in 6 2-3 innings in his first career start against Boston.
Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara, his team’s fifth pitcher on the day, also worked one scoreless inning, the 12th.
Indians 3, Yankees 0
In New York, Corey Kluber pitched four-hit ball for a superb six innings and Jose Ramirez hit his first career homer as Cleveland ended a four-game skid with a victory over the Yankees.
Michael Brantley also homered and had three hits for the Indians, who won at Yankee Stadium for the first time in eight games. Ramirez hit a two-run drive in the second inning and had three hits.
Derek Jeter had an infield single in the sixth inning to pass Honus Wagner for sixth on the career list with No. 3,431. But New York was 0-for-9 with six strikeouts with runners in scoring position in losing for just the second time in eight games.
Kluber (13-6) did not allow a hit until Jacoby Ellsbury doubled with one out in the fourth. He struck out 10 to beat New York for the first time in three tries.
Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 for New York.
Blue Jays 3, Tigers 2 (10)
In Toronto, Nolan Reimold hit a game-winning double in the 10th inning and the Blue Jays rallied past Detroit, spoiling Max Scherzer’s bid to become the first 14-game winner in the American League.
Danny Valencia singled off Joba Chamberlain to begin the 10th and Reimold followed with a double to the wall in left-center as Valencia scored without a play.
Scherzer allowed one run and four hits in eight innings. He walked none and struck out 11, two shy of his season high.
Astros 8, Rangers 3
In Houston, Jon Singleton drove in three runs, and the Astros handled Yu Darvish again in a win over Texas to stretch the streak against their in-state rival to seven victories in a row.
Darvish (10-7) allowed nine hits and six runs — five earned — in four-plus innings in his second-shortest start of the season. It was his second straight tough outing against the Astros after they tagged him for a season-high 10 hits with six runs in six innings on July 9.
“Sometimes you are going to have a bad day,” Darvish said.
“It was tough because it was difficult to locate my fastball and I didn’t have late movement on my breaking pitches.”
Singleton had an RBI single in Houston’s two-run first and added a two-run double as the Astros tacked on four runs in the fifth.
Houston’s Scott Feldman (6-8) allowed eight hits and three runs with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.
White Sox 2, Mariners 1 (10)
In Seattle, Conor Gillespie’s RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning helped Chicago collect a victory against the Mariners.
With Jordan Danks on second base, Gordon Beckham reached when Seattle shortstop Chris Taylor booted his grounder. Danks advanced to third and scored when Gillespie, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth, hit a hard single to right off Fernando Rodney (1-5).
The loss ended the Mariners’ four-game winning streak and the White Sox snapped their four-game losing streak.
Athletics 9, Twins 4
In Oakland, Derek Norris hit a three-run homer, Stephen Vogt added a two-run shot, and the Athletics won their 12th straight against Minnesota.
Jeff Samardzija (3-1) improved to 3-0 at home since coming to the AL West-leading A’s in a trade from the Cubs on July 4. He followed winning lefties Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir, who kept Minnesota in check over the first two games of the series, with six tough innings that forced him to throw 109 pitches.
Nationals 4, Braves 1 (11)
In Atlanta, Wilson Ramos’ bases-loaded single sparked Washington’s three-run 11th inning, and the Nationals beat Atlanta.
The start of the game was delayed by 3 hours, 41 minutes, and the final out wasn’t recorded until Sunday at 2:29 a.m.
Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche led off the 11th with singles against David Carpenter (4-2), and Bryce Harper walked to load the bases. Ramos drove in Rendon with a single up the middle off Anthony Vavaro, and Devin Frandsen’s double to right field drove in two runs to make it 4-1.
Mets 2, Phillies 1 (11)
In Philadelphia, Lucas Duda singled home the go-ahead run with one out in the 11th inning to lead New York past the Phillies.
It was New York’s 11th victory over the Phillies in the last 12 games in Philadelphia.
Marlins 4, Reds 3
In Cincinnati, Brad Penny rejoined Miami for the first time in 10 years and pitched five solid innings to get a notable win, over the slumping Reds.
The 36-year-old helped the Marlins win the World Series in 2003 and played one more season in Miami before moving on. Called up earlier Saturday, Penny (1-0) put the Marlins in position for their second straight win over Cincinnati, which is 8-14 since the All-Star break.
Penny gave up Jay Bruce’s solo homer and an unearned run in five innings, fanning three while throwing 95 pitches.
Diamondbacks 14, Rockies 4
In Phoenix, David Peralta hit a grand slam in Arizona’s nine-run eighth inning, Mark Trumbo homered and drove in four runs, and the Diamondbacks routed Colorado.
Arizona led 5-4 heading into the eighth inning behind Trumbo’s a three-run homer off Jorge De La Rosa (11-8) and seven effective innings by Trevor Cahill (2-8).
The Rockies came apart in the bottom half of the inning with two errors, a passed ball and a wild pitch. Colorado also walked in a run and Peralta capped the eight-hit inning with his first career grand slam over the pool in right-center.
Alfredo Marte added a solo homer. Cliff Pennington had three of Arizona’s 15 hits and scored three runs.
Padres 2, Pirates 1
In Pittsburgh, Eric Stults got his first road win of the season, going 6 1/3 innings as San Diego beat the Pirates.
Stults (5-13) gave up one run and seven hits, struck out six and walked none. He entered the game with an 0-9 record away from Petco Park.
The Padres scored both runs in the first inning off Francisco Liriano (3-8). San Diego loaded the bases with no outs and scored on Jedd Gyorko’s RBI single and Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice fly.
Brewers 4, Dodgers 1
In Milwaukee, Mike Fiers held Los Angeles to three hits in his first big league start in more than a year, and Khris Davis and Carlos Gomez homered to give the Brewers a win.
Fiers (1-1) struck out five in eight strong innings, filling in for injured veteran Matt Garza. The Dodgers mustered only a solo homer by Adrian Gonzalez into the second deck in right field.
Fiers outdueled former Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke (12-8), who gave up Gomez’s homer off the left-field foul pole that made it 3-1 leading off the sixth.
Rays 4, Cubs 0
In Chicago, Jake Odorizzi struck out nine in six scoreless innings and combined with two relievers on a five-hitter to lead Tampa Bay to a victory over the Cubs.
Evan Longoria drove in a run and scored two. Yunel Escobar added two hits and three RBIs. Ben Zobrist had two hits and scored twice for the Rays, who improved to a major league-best 15-6 since July 12. They will try to complete the three-game sweep on Sunday.
Chicago reliever Kyuji Fujikawa retired three in a row in the ninth inning.
Royals 5, Giants 0
In Kansas City, James Shields threw a four-hitter and Alex Gordon homered as the Royals won their sixth straight by blanking San Francisco.
Kansas City has won nine of 10 to move within 1 1-2 games of AL Central-leading Detroit. The Royals, who have not made the playoffs since beating St. Louis in the 1985 World Series, are in second place in the AL wild card standings.
Norichika Aoki was 1-for-3 in the win.
Orioles 10, Cardinals 3
In Baltimore, Caleb Joseph homered in his fifth consecutive game, Nelson Cruz hit his 30th and Delmon Young also went deep as the Orioles beat John Lackey and St. Louis.
All three home runs came with a man on against Lackey (1-1), making his second start since coming from Boston in a July 31 trade. The right-hander gave up nine runs and 13 hits in five-plus innings to fall to 14-8 lifetime against Baltimore.