The Boston Marathon was run Monday morning. There was a different kind of marathon on the other side of the country Monday night - the longest game in Salt Lake Buzz history.
A crowd of 6,912 fans were at Franklin Quest Field when the contest between the Buzz and the Phoenix Firebirds began at 7 p.m.Several dozen fans remained 4 hours and 27 minutes and 13 innings later when the final out was made in the Firebirds' 11-8 victory. The game was 19 minutes longer than the Buzz's previous longest game in history. Salt Lake fell to 5-6 on the year, while Phoenix improved to 8-3.
Pinch hitter Rod Brewer's two-out, bases-loaded single off Buzz reliever Sean Gavaghan scored a pair of runs in the top of the 13th. Phoenix added an insurance run on a Chris Wimmer single to give Phoenix a three-run lead. This time the Buzz were fresh out of comebacks after already using two in the game.
The Buzz trailed by six runs early and came back to take a one run lead. After falling behind again, this time 8-7 in the 12th inning, Salt Lake came back in dramatic style. The Buzz were down to their final out when third baseman Tom Quinlan hit the first pitch he saw from Phoenix reliever Tony Menendez over the concession stand in left field for perhaps the longest home run by a Buzzman ever at Franklin Quest.
"That was the longest home run I've seen in a long time," Buzz manager Phil Roof said of Quinlan's blast. "It was a mammoth shot. It was over 500 feet at least."
But the momentum from Quinlan's monster homer didn't last. Calvin Murray opened the 13th by getting on base on an error by Buzz shortstop Andres Duncan. Two outs and two walks later the bases were full for Brewer's game-winning, two run single.
The Buzz and starting pitcher Mike Trombley got off to a poor start. The Firebirds had a 6-0 lead by the second inning, the big blow being a grand slam homer by Murray.
The Buzz chipped away at the lead, scoring a run in the third and two more in the fourth. First baseman Ben Shelton's bases-clearing triple highlighted a four-run fourth inning, as the Buzz took a 7-6 advantage.
"We made a nice come back, we just didn't come back far enough," Roof said.
The Firebirds scored the tying run in the eighth inning when Kurt Ehmann's sacrifice fly plated Gary Scott, tying the game 7-7, which was the score at the end of the regulation nine innings.
A couple of Buzz individuals kept up hot streaks. Lefty relief pitcher Scott Watkins continued to be impressive with 22/3 scoreless innings. Watkins, in six games this season, has yet to give up a run. Left fielder Riccardo Ingram ranhis hitting streak to 11 - every game this year - by going 3-for-5 with an RBI. It was his sixth multiple-hit contest already this young season.
"It was a tough game to lose, but we've got to look at the positives from it," Ingram said. "We kept coming back and we didn't give up."
BUZZ BRIEFS: Salt Lake's eight-game homestand will conclude tonight at 7. Mike Misuraca (0-1) will be on the mound against the Firebirds' Scott Robinson (1-1). The Buzz will have a rare day off Wednesday before beginning an eight-game trip to Vancouver and Tacoma Thursday . . . The Buzz have split both of their previous series this year. Salt Lake needs to win tonight to earn a split against the Firebirds . . . The parent Twins still haven't sent any players down to the Buzz from training camp in Florida, but they are expected to in the near future.