HOUSTON – Winning the longest postseason game in baseball history, the Houston Astros (search) eliminated Atlanta from the playoffs by rallying to beat the Braves, 7-to-6 in 18 innings.
Roger Clemens, the Astros' 42-year-old starter in Game Two, picked up the win with three shutout innings in relief. It was only the second relief stint in Clemens' long career. Clemens was the eighth pitcher for Houston.
The teams combined to use 13 pitchers in the five-hour, 50-minute marathon. That exceeded the previous longest postseason game, a 16-inning affair in 1986 between the New York Mets and Houston.
The Astros rallied to force extra innings on Lance Berkman's grand slam in the eighth and a solo homer by Brad Ausmus in the eighth.
The Braves wasted a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the top of the 14th when they failed to score.
Houston moves on to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series that begins Wednesday at Busch Stadium.