On a night that saw Puerto Rico native Jose Berrios turn in a dominant performance of seven scoreless innings against the Indians in front of his home crowd, it was fitting that fellow Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in the longest MLB game ever held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
Rosario, a Guayama native, sparked a rally in the 16th inning with a leadoff single off Josh Tomlin before going to third on an error from second baseman Jason Kipnis on what should’ve been a double play hit into by Logan Morrison. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Ryan LaMarre provided the walk-off single into center for a 2-1 win in the second and final game of the Puerto Rico series that saw each team win one game.
“They both handled it very well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Jose is never going to forget about this day and the biggest concern was getting him through that first inning with all that hype and expectation. I told him after the first inning, ‘Now we go.’ And sure enough, he did. Jose couldn’t have done a better job and [Rosario] scored the winning run. ‘Rosie’ started the rally and finished it.”
Rosario couldn’t contain his emotions after scoring the winning run, and Berrios joined the celebration on the field, never changing out of his uniform while watching the game’s final nine innings.
“It was unforgettable — this was one of the best nights of my life,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “Being able to spend time here in Puerto Rico with my family and my friends, and them being able to watch me wear a Major League uniform.”
The 5-hour, 13-minute game didn’t see much offense, with neither team getting a hit with runners in scoring position until LaMarre’s hit, but saw same late dramatics after the Twins fell behind 1-0 in the 14th on a go-ahead solo homer from Edwin Encarnacion off reliever Trevor Hildenberger. On the first pitch of the bottom of the 14th, Miguel Sano crushed a game-tying solo homer to left off Matt Belisle.
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