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New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera walks off the field after giving up the game winning run in the 18th inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Thursday, June 13, 2013 in Oakland, Calif. Oakland won game 3-2, after the A's Nate Freiman drive in the game-winning run off Rivera. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
MLB teams playing unusual number of extra-inning games
MLB » Numbers of extra-inning games reach historic levels.
First Published Jun 14 2013 02:49 pm • Last Updated Jun 15 2013 12:37 am

Oakland, Calif. • Josh Reddick rushed out of the ballpark, more eager than ever to get home from yet another extra-long work day.

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Extra innings, that is. And a lot of them.

Who could blame Reddick for his swift departure? He had played the equivalent of a day-night doubleheader, minus the break in between. Oakland teammate Brandon Moss followed closely behind en route to the Coliseum exit Thursday night after a 3-2 victory in 18 innings over the New York Yankees that gave the A’s a hard-earned series sweep.

Clubs across the major leagues have been going the distance this year in some memorable, downright exhausting performances from coast to coast.

There were three extra-innings games Thursday alone to bring the season total to 110, and each of those Thursday lasted at least 13 innings.

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"Is a lunar eclipse coming?" Reddick quipped. "I have no idea. Probably more of a coincidence than anything. That’s how the game goes sometimes."

The topic of extra innings has been trending on Twitter, often with the hash tag freebaseball. Yes, many fans are getting far more baseball bang for their buck, despite being drowsy at work the next day.

The Marlins and Mets played for 20 innings — and 6 hours, 25 minutes — last Saturday in Queens, N.Y., the same day the Blue Jays needed nearly 5 1/2 hours to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 in 18 innings at home in Toronto.

On Thursday, the AL West-leading Athletics remarkably won their second game this year of 18 or more innings. Oakland held off the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels in 19 innings on April 29, a game that ended at 1:41 a.m. California time.

The game time of 6 hours, 32 minutes, wasn’t far off from the time it would have taken for the Angels to return from the Bay Area to Orange County by car. Depending on traffic, of course.

There also was that wild 7-5, 16-inning win by the Chicago White Sox in Seattle last week. It went 5 hours, 42 minutes and featured the teams combining for 10 runs and 10 hits in the 14th inning alone after the game went scoreless through nine innings.

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