The Chicago White Sox needed 17 hits, eight pitchers and more than 5½ hours to end their eight-game losing streak. So while they were happy to put the slide behind them, it was all about some rest after this one was over.
Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios each had an RBI single in the 16th inning, and the White Sox held on for a 7-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
"We're all too exhausted right now to relish it," Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "But when you're down, you've got an eight-game losing streak, and you're battling and what happens in the 14th happened it's like, 'How can it get any worse?' ... We battled and hopefully it does enough for us to get going back in the right direction."
De Aza's tiebreaking hit came after the teams combined to make baseball history when Chicago scored five times in the top of the 14th, only to have Seattle complete an improbable rally on Kyle Seager's tying grand slam off Addison Reed (2-0) with two out.
According to the Mariners, with information from Elias Sports Bureau, Seager was the first player to hit a tying grand slam in extra innings and no team had ever scored five or more runs in the 14th inning or later to tie a game. It also was the first game in major league history when each team scored five or more runs in the game when it was scoreless through the ninth.
After 13 innings of offensive futility, the two sides combined for 10 runs and 10 hits in the 14th inning alone. Clocking in at 5 hours, 42 minutes, the game was too long for Chicago manager Robin Ventura, who had to leave early to catch a flight for his daughter's high school graduation.
"We had a lot of big hits in the 14th," said Chicago bench coach Mark Parent, who took over when Ventura left. "The whole pitching staff and the team really rallied around each other. It was really good to see."
The events of the 14th all became a footnote when the White Sox scored twice in the 16th against Hector Noesi (0-1), who gave up three runs and seven hits in three innings. De Aza drove in Beckham and eventually came around on an infield hit by Rios, who also singled home the first run of the game.
The two-run cushion proved to be enough for Reed this time. He struck out Brendan Ryan on three pitches, and then got Endy Chavez and Jason Bay swinging.
Reed was charged with five runs and five hits over three innings, but got the victory. Reed had never thrown more than 1 2-3 innings and 40 pitches. He threw 55 pitches and was at the end of his stint when he recorded the final out. Parent's plan should the game go to the 17th was to have outfielder Casper Wells take the mound.
"It was a crazy game and I've never been a part of anything like that," Reed said. "It was just amazing how our guys stayed focused and stayed in the ballgame for me."
The White Sox avoided the first winless road trip of seven or more games in franchise history. They seemed to have the game won in the 14th, but the lead evaporated in a remarkable inning.
De Aza had a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single through the right side of the infield by Alexei Ramirez. Rios then singled in De Aza, and Chicago added another run on Wells' infield single. Jeff Keppinger had a two-run single and Hector Gimenez doubled home a run as the White Sox sent 10 batters to the plate.
And that seemed to be more than enough, especially with Reed taking over.
But the closer was shaky from the outset, giving up four straight hits after Franklin popped out. The last of the four hits came from Chavez and scored Michael Saunders to make it 5-1. Reed struck out Bay on a slider and had a 1-2 count on Seager when he left a fastball over the plate and third baseman drove it over the wall in right-center for his first career grand slam.
The Mariners' dugout erupted and Seager wore a grin on his face as he rounded the bases. It was the first home run allowed this year by Reed.
"I don't think you can necessarily try to hit a home run off him. He's got pretty good stuff. He's their closer for a reason," Seager said. "Just try to put a good swing on the ball and not strike out."