KANSAS CITY — Both teams went home exhausted Thursday. At least the Kansas City Royals went home happy.
The Royals and Texas Rangers battled for 18 innings and 6 hours 28 minutes--the longest game by time in the majors this season--before Texas reliever Kenny Rogers' wild throw on a bunt allowed the winning run to score, giving Kansas City a 4-3 victory.
Carmelo Martinez's leadoff pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth tied the game and the teams played through nine more innings before Rogers (4-5) threw wildly on Kurt Stillwell's sacrifice bunt attempt and Kevin Seitzer scored the winning run.
The teams combined to leave 45 runners on base, matching the major league record set by the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals in a 25-inning game on Sept. 11, 1974. The Royals set an American League record by leaving 25 runners on base, breaking the mark of 24, which was done twice.
The longest game this season was a 19-inning contest between Milwaukee and Chicago on May 1 that took 6:05.
The Rangers' Rafael Palmeiro went 0 for 9 and his average fell from .325 to .310. Ruben Sierra went 0 for 7, ending a 13-game hitting streak.