No rest for the weary: O's, Rays back at it after marathon opener

There will be no rest for the weary on Saturday, as the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles get right back at it after a playing a marathon in Friday's opener.

David DeJesus sent what was left of a tired Tropicana Field crowd home happy, though, as he delivered an RBI single in the 18th inning to give the Rays a 5-4 win.

Desmond Jennings' one-out double in the 18th was the first extra-base hit by either team since the top of the seventh. He eventually came around to score on DeJesus' line drive to right-center field, ending the 6-hour, 54-minute game -- the longest in Rays and Orioles history.

The teams combined to use an MLB-record 21 pitchers and Jeremy Hellickson, the Rays' scheduled starter for Sunday, got the win in 2 1/3 innings to help Tampa Bay remain atop the AL wild card standings.

Hellickson (12-9) only allowed one hit. Bud Norris (10-12) took the loss in 2 1/3 innings for the Orioles.

The teams combined for only five more hits, 26, than pitchers used and only one player had more than three -- the hero DeJesus, who had four in eight at- bats.

The Rays now have sole possession of the first wild card spot, percentage points ahead of Cleveland, which beat Houston in seven innings Friday after rain ended that game early.

Getting the call for the Rays on Saturday will be Alex Cobb, who will be trying to string back-to-back wins together. Cobb won for the first time since Aug. 20 on Monday against Texas, as he held the Rangers to a pair of runs in eight innings to run his record to 9-3, while lowering his ERA to 3.02.

Cobb retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced.

"Alex was outstanding," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "You saw that first inning of work. He came out really painting. Cobber was outstanding -- not good, outstanding. You see their hitters taking strikes that you knew, they were just painted. ... There's not a whole lot they could have done with those pitches. He was on top of his game."

Baltimore will hand the ball to righty Miguel Gonzalez, who had to leave his last start with a right groin strain. However, he came through a bullpen session on Thursday unscathed and deemed himself ready to go. He is 10-7 on the year with a 3.92 ERA.

Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his career against the Rays, and 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in three starts at Tropicana Field.

Tampa is 10-6 against the Orioles this season.