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Longest Day a Loss for Dodgers : L.A. Plays More Than 7 Hours, Falls in 22nd Inning

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers, attempting to end Houston’s eight-game winning streak, finally came up short and lost to the Astros, 5-4, with two out in the 22nd inning on Rafael Ramirez’s line-drive single off first baseman Fernando Valenzuela’s glove. The hit scored Bill Doran from second base at 2:50 a.m., CDT, Sunday morning in the Astrodome.

The game, which started Saturday night, lasted 7 hours 14 minutes, the longest night game in National League history.

The Dodgers led, 4-1, after five innings but squandered the lead in the sixth, when the Astros, whose winning streak equaled the longest in the major leagues this season, scored three runs after two were out.

Both teams pulled all of the stops in the late innings.

In the bottom of the 21st inning, the Dodgers put pitcher Valenzuela at first base, moved Eddie Murray to third base, and Jeff Hamilton, who normally plays third, took over for pitcher Orel Hershiser. Hamilton retired all three batters he faced as Valenzuela fielded a pop-up off the bat of Alex Trevino.

On Aug. 17, 1982, the Dodgers played 21 innings in Chicago and beat the Cubs 2-1 in 6:10. The Astros’ longest game ever was a 24-inning, 1-0 victory over the New York Mets on April 15, 1968.

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Twice in extra innings, it appeared the Astros were about to end the game on a sacrifice fly.

The Astros loaded the bases in the 15th against Hershiser on infield hits by Terry Puhl and and Eric Yelding and an intentional walk to Ramirez with one out. Hershiser, who pitched last Wednesday, entered the game in the 14th.

Trevino then hit a fly ball to left fielder Chris Gwynn, who threw Puhl out at the plate to end the inning.

Tim Leary limited Houston to four hits and held a 4-1 lead when he walked Bill Doran and Glenn Davis with two out in the sixth. Ricky Horton relieved and walked Puhl to load the bases. Ken Caminiti’s single scored two runs and Ramirez singled home the tying run.

Los Angeles loaded the bases with two out in the seventh but Davis jumped the fence into the Astros’ dugout to catch a foul ball hit by Hamilton to end the inning.

Davis hit his 13th homer in the fourth inning for Houston’s first run.

Hamilton had a two-run single in the first off Bob Knepper, and the Dodgers got another run in the third when Eddie Murray doubled, went to third on a grounder and scored on awild pitch.

Kirk Gibson’s fourth homer gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning.

The most innings ever played was in a 1-1, 26-inning tie between Brooklyn and Boston on May 1, 1920, at Boston. The Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles after the 1957 season.

The longest game in the American League was 25 innings, between Milwaukee and the White Sox at Chicago on May 8, 1984, won by Chicago 7-6 when the game was completed on May 9.

The Brewers and White Sox played 8:06, the longest game in major-league history. The longest National League game was 7:23 by San Francisco and New York--the second game of a doubleheader on May 31, 1964.

The Dodgers, who managed only six hits and one earned run in the first two games of the series, canceled batting practice before the game, then jumped on Astro starter Bob Knepper for two runs in the first inning.

Mickey Hatcher and Kirk Gibson singled with one out, setting up a two-run single through the middle by Jeff Hamilton.

The Dodgers made it 3-0 in the third, when Murray doubled, moved to third on a groundout by Shelby and scored on a wild pitch.

Glenn Davis produced the Astros’ first run in the fourth, sending his 13th home run into the seats high above the wall in left field.

Gibson, though, homered into left-center in the fifth. The home run was Gibson’s fourth, all of which have been hit with nobody on base.

Still, the Dodger lead was 4-1 and Dodger starter Tim Leary seemed to be in control. He had given up only three hits and had not walked a batter before issuing a two-out walk to Bill Doran in the sixth.

Up came Davis, who glared out toward Leary when Leary’s first pitch was high and tight and left Davis sprawled in the dirt.

Leary lost his control at that point, angering Davis again when he knocked him down a second time. Then, after walking the Astros’ cleanup batter, Leary was replaced by Ricky Horton, who wasn’t any better.

Horton walked Puhl, bringing on reliever Tim Crews.

Crews didn’t walk anybody, but he gave up a bases-loaded two-run single to Ken Caminiti, whose grounder through the left side glanced off the glove of a diving Alfredo Griffin, the Dodger shortstop.

Ramirez then reached out over the plate to bloop a single into center field, scoring Puhl and tying the score at 4-4.

The Dodgers made a similar threat in the seventh, when Willie Randolph and Gibson walked and Murray was hit by a pitch.

In the 10th, Dodger reliever Alejandro Pena struck out Ramirez after Ken Caminiti had tripled off the right-field wall with two out, and in the 11th by the defensive teamwork of the Dodgers’ Shelby and Scioscia.

From center field, Shelby made a strong throw to Scioscia, who blocked the plate, preventing Craig Reynolds from scoring on a flyout. Reynolds, pinch-hitting for reliever Larry Andersen, led off the inning with a single and, one out later, moved to third on a double by Billy Hatcher.

Murray singled to left to lead off the 12th and moved to third on groundouts by Hamilton and Shelby, but pinch-hitter Dave Anderson then grounded back to the box against Juan Agosto, the Astros’ fifth pitcher.

Dodger Notes

Mickey Hatcher was forced to leave the game after straining his left hamstring while running from first to third basethe first inning. His status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. . . . Don Newcombe, director of community relations for the Dodgers and a former Dodger pitcher, will be honored along with about 65 other surviving members of the old Negro baseball leagues in ceremonies today and Monday at Atlanta. The players will be presented with awards between games of Monday night’s doubleheader between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. . . . Vin Scully, who fulfilled his Game of the Week assignment for NBC Saturday before flying from St. Louis to Houston, trotted through the press box in the Astrodome Saturday night during the national anthem, barely making it in time for the Dodger-Astro broadcast. The Dodger announcer, who usually does not work Dodger games on Saturdays, filled in for Don Drysdale, who has laryngitis.


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