Phils Win Marathon With Michaels Homer in 17th

The Phillies and Orioles weren't satisfied with just playing a regulation game, so they played almost another complete game Friday night before the Phillies picked up a 4-2 win in 17 innings. The game took five hours and forty-one minutes to finish and consumed a total of 38 players between both teams. Luckily, the designated hitter rule was used, so too many pinch-hitters weren't necessary.

Jason Michaels said he was just trying to "hit the ball to the outfield," but wound up with a lot more in the top of the 17th inning Friday night. After an infield single by Jim Thome, followed by a Mike Lieberthal single to put runners on first and third, Michaels, who had come in as a defensive replacement, hit his third homerun of the season to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. The homerun came off of former Phillies pitcher Omar Daal (4-10), who has been relegated to the Orioles bullpen.

The Orioles had started the scoring in the bottom of the first when B.J. Surhoff doubled off starter Brandon Duckworth to score Brian Roberts, who had singled and stole second. The Phillies got out of the inning with no further damage, except an injury to Duckworth. Jay Gibbons hit a hard groundball back to the mound that hit Duckworth in the right arm and ricocheted to Jimmy Rollins who threw Gibbons out. Duckworth didn't return for the second inning, with Carlos Silva taking the mound in his place.

The injury to Duckworth started a string of 15 scoreless innings turned in by the Phillies before the Orioles got to Hector Mercado for a run in the bottom of the 17th. The scoreless streak included three innings from closer Jose Mesa, a high for Mesa in a Phillies uniform. They also got three innings from Silva and Rheal Cormier and two innings each from Turk Wendell, Terry Adams and Dan Plesac (1-0). Plesac pitched the bottom of the 16th and picked up the win for the Phillies. The only run the bullpen allowed was a solo homerun from Luis Matos off of Mercado to make it a 4-2 game.

The Phillies got their first run of the game in the third when Jim Thome singled and went to third on a double from Bobby Abreu. Lieberthal, who caught all 17 innings, then hit a fielder's choice groundball to score Thome and tie the game 1-1.

The long game produced some long nights for Jimmy Rollins (1-for-8), Pat Burrell (1-for-8) and Marlon Byrd (1-for-7). On the upside, Nick Punto finished the night 2-for-2 after pinch-running and staying in the game to play third base.

The two teams match up Saturday night with Brett Myers (6-6, 3.37) going against Pat Hentgen (1-4, 4.82).


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