On June 3, 1989, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros played 22 innings at the Astrodome in what marked the longest National League game in MLB history. The contest also was the longest NL night game by time at 7 hours and 14 minutes.
It was the third of a four-game weekend series at the Astrodome and also marked the start of a wild stretch for the Dodgers. First pitch the evening of June 3 was 7:35 p.m local time. The game went final at 2:50 a.m. the following morning, with the Astros outlasting the Dodgers, 5-4 in 22 innings to extend their winning streak to nine games.
Houston won a 10th straight with a second consecutive walk-off against the Dodgers on June 4, though that game was only 13 innings.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers were coming off a 1988 World Series win but struggling heading into the series in Houston. Tim Leary was 3-4 with a 3.16 ERA through 10 starts when he took the mound at the Astrodome on June 3.
He was provided an early lead behind Jeff Hamilton’s two-run single, but the first inning also saw Mickey Hatcher removed because of a left hamstring strain suffered when running from first base to third base.
The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Eddy Murray doubled and later scored on a wild pitch.
Leary allowed a solo home run to Glenn Davis in the bottom of the fourth, though Kirk Gibson slugged one of his own in the fifth inning.
The Dodgers still held a 4-1 lead when Leary issued three consecutive walks with two outs in the sixth inning to load the bases. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda turned to Tim Crews, who promptly allowed base hits to Ken Caminiti and Rafael Ramirez that tied the game.
The Astros had a chance for a walk-off win in the 11th inning but John Shelby threw out Craig Reynolds at home plate on his attempt to score on a fly ball to center field. It was the only highlight for Shelby, who went 0-for-10 in the loss.
When the game reached the 14th inning, the Dodgers turned to Orel Hershiser for a relief appearance. Hershiser was pitching on two days’ rest after completing seven innings in a win against the Montreal Expos on May 31.
Hershiser nevertheless finished with eight strikeouts over seven scoreless innings.
At that point the Dodgers were down to using Fernando Valenzuela, who had thrown 114 pitches the night before, or a position player. The next game’s starter, Tim Belcher, was already at the team hotel resting for his scheduled outing.
So Lasorda turned to Hamilton, who pitched well and initially kept the game alive with a scoreless inning. However, Ramirez hit a line drive in the 22nd inning that went off Murray’s glove and allowed Bill Doran to score the winning run as he beat Mike Davis’ throw to home plate and collided with Mike Scioscia.
Although Valenzuela did not end up pitching in the marathon game, he did play first base.
Dodgers play longest World Series game
The Dodgers again found themselves part of a marathon when they played the longest World Series game in 2018 at 18 innings.
Max Muncy ended Game 3 at Dodger Stadium with a walk-off home run.
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