(Reuters) - The Baltimore Orioles endured an 18-inning battle against the Seattle Mariners that began on Tuesday night and ran into early Wednesday morning, eventually earning a 4-2 victory that tied them with the New York Yankees atop the American League East.
Chasing their first playoff appearance since 1997, the Orioles (84-64) once again delivered with a late-inning rally in Seattle that left them even with the Yankees (83-63).
Baltimore trailed 2-0 in the ninth but got a two-run single from Chris Davis to send the game into extra innings and set up a battle of bullpens.
A combined 14 relievers were used to shut down the respective offenses but pinch-hitter Taylor Teagarden ended the drought with a go-ahead RBI single in the 18th. The Orioles scored twice in the final inning to pull off the marathon victory.
No stranger to long drawn out matchups, Baltimore improved to 14-2 in extra-inning games. Their latest duel nearly took six hours and approached the longest game of the season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals played a contest last month that went six hours and seven minutes and took 19 innings.
In Los Angeles, the Angels stayed in hot pursuit of the post-season with an 11-3 rout over Texas. The Angels (81-67) trail the Orioles and Yankees by three games for a potential Wild Card slot.
In Detroit, standout pitcher Max Scherzer was forced to make an early exit but Miguel Cabrera led an offensive surge as the Tigers blasted Oakland Athletics 12-2 to keep pace in their divisional race.
Scherzer, who has a 16-6 record and is the Major League's leader in strikeouts with 224, departed after two innings because of a fatigued right shoulder. He will undergo an MRI scan to determine the extent of the injury.
Cabrera rose to the occasion, however, with two home runs and six RBIs, including a grand slam in the eighth to put an exclamation point on the victory.
"That was pretty awesome. It was fun to see him hit today," team mate Austin Jackson told reporters, of Cabrera. "It seems like he's only getting better as the year goes on and he's been carrying us this year."
Venezuelan Cabrera now has 40 homers on the season, strengthening his case as an AL MVP contender.
The win allowed the Tigers (78-69) to stay three games behind the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, who defeated Kansas City 3-2 to move to 81-66.
The Athletics (84-63) had their lead atop the AL Wild Card race trimmed to just one game following the loss.
Elsewhere around the league, inclement weather halted a few post-season races as the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers all had their games postponed.
Milwaukee inched closer to a playoff spot after a 6-0 shutout win over Pittsburgh.
The Brewers (75-72) pulled to within 2 1/2 games of St. Louis for the second NL Wild Card position.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Amlan Chakraborty)