Cleveland – Rookie Oscar Gonzalez broke up the longest scoreless postseason game in major league history with a leadoff home run in the 15th inning, giving the Cleveland Guardians a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday and a two-game Wild Card Series sweep.
Gonzalez, who walks to the plate to the “SpongeBob SquarePants” theme song, drove a 1-0 cutter from Corey Kluber, the 432nd pitch in the nearly five-hour game, over the 19-foot wall in left-center to touch off a wild celebration inside Progressive Field.
As Gonzalez rounded the bases, and his teammates gathered near home plate, the sellout crowd of 34,971 fans shook the ballpark as Cleveland’s surprise season turned more storybook.
AL Central champion Cleveland, the youngest team in the major leagues, opens the best-of-five Division Series on Tuesday at the AL East champ New York Yankees.
Cleveland defied odds all year in its first season after abandoning the Indians nickname in favor of the Guardians. The team unexpectedly won the AL Central going away, then swept the more experienced Rays.
Tampa Bay was bounced quickly from its fourth straight postseason appearance. The Rays finished the season with seven straight losses and managed just one run and nine hits in the series.
The game was the longest in Cleveland postseason history.
- Gonzalez sends Guardians to Division Series with 15th-inning walk-off
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