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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 13 July, 2020
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Blue Jays beat Indians in longest season opener in baseball history

Take me out to the ball game and keep me there all night.

Blue Jays relief pitcher Sergio Santos closes out the game in the 16th inning.
Blue Jays relief pitcher Sergio Santos closes out the game in the 16th inning.
Image: Amy Sancetta/AP/Press Association Images

YOU KNOW HOW it is. You wait all off-season for baseball to start and then the opening game lasts a whopping five hours and 14 minutes through 16 innings.

That’s how it was for the 43,190 fans who showed up to Progressive Field in Cleveland last night to watch the Indians host the Toronto Blue Jays.

When the home team entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead, few would have predicted this game would have needed a further seven innings to find a winner.

However, after Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly brought Yunel Escobar home to make the game 4-2,  Edwin Encarnacion hit a double to deep left field to bring home two of his teammates and tie the game.

Nothing much happened for the next seven innings until Jairo Asencio stepped up to the plate and hit a three run homer to give the Blue Jays a 7-4 lead.

The beleaguered Indian offence, who hadn’t scored since the second inning, were unable to reply and relief pitcher Sergio Santos was able to comfortably close out the game for Toronto.

The marathon game is the longest season opener in baseball history, surpassing the 15 innings shared by the Tigers and Indians in 1960 and the Senators and A’s in 1926.

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About the author:

Steven O'Rourke

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