LOS ANGELES—A.J. Ellis drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 14th inning before the Los Angeles Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs. With slugger Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, the slow-footed Ellis knew he would have to hustle to score.
Gonzalez singled to deep left field, driving in Ellis for a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants early today in the opener of a crucial series between the NL West’s top two teams.
Ellis entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and caught the final five innings.
The first-place Dodgers’ lead increased to 4 1/2 games over their second-place rivals after the longest game by innings between the teams since May 2, 1995.
San Francisco’s Mike Broadway (0-1) started his first inning of relief by walking Ellis and then gave up consecutive singles to Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley to load the bases.
Giants reliever Yusmeiro Petit came on and Gonzalez hit his first pitch to deep left field, finishing off the 5-hour, 29-minute game that started in August and ended in September.
Chris Hatcher (2-5) pitched three innings for the win.
The Dodgers won for just the fourth time in 13 games against the Giants this season, a day after getting no-hit by Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs, the second time it happened in 10 days.
Both teams wasted numerous scoring opportunities as the game stretched into the wee hours and most of the 40,851 fans bailed.
The Dodgers sent Kershaw, their ace, to the plate with two outs in the 11th when they had no position players left.
He grounded out to end the inning. The Giants ran out of position players in the 14th.
Marlon Byrd of the Giants tied the game 4-all in the eighth with an RBI-double in the right-field corner off Juan Nicasio. Byrd drove in three of the Giants’ four runs.
Gonzalez and Andre Ethier homered for the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
Gonzalez’s two-run homer, his 25th, tied the game 2-all and scored Rollins, who had a leadoff single.
In other National League action yesterday, the Marlins skewered the Braves 4-0; the Reds beat the Cubs 13-6; the Rockies inched above the Diamondbacks 5-4; the Mets outclassed the Phillies 3-1; and the Cardinals pecked the Nationals 8-5.