SAN DIEGO - It took 17 innings and a rare relief appearance for Clayton Richard to earn his first win of the year.
Richard pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and Jesus Guzman singled home the winning run with two outs in the 17th to give the San Diego Padres a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays early Saturday.
"I was hoping I would get a win today. I was assuming it was going to be later in the day," said Richard, who had been scheduled to start Saturday night against the Blue Jays. "That's the crazy thing about baseball. You never really know what you're going to get. You come to the park thinking you've got a plan and it gets turned upside down. It was fun, though. That's part of the fun of the game is being in situations where something different happens."
Richard (1-5) came on to start the 16th. He gave up one hit and struck out two in his first relief outing since May 2009 with the Chicago White Sox.
The left-hander came in 0-5 with an 8.35 ERA in seven starts and recently spent time on the disabled list with an intestinal virus.
Padres manager Bud Black told Richard around the 13th inning that he'd probably pitch.
"We talked about it, whether to use a position player or go to one of our starters, and we felt that was the thing to do," Black said. "We wanted to win the game. We played to win the game. We took Clayton's start tomorrow out of the equation and we decided to use him tonight and go for the W. I think that's the way you have to do it."
The Padres will call up lefty Robbie Erlin from Triple-A Tucson to start Saturday night.
It was San Diego's longest game since the Padres lost to Arizona in 18 innings on June 7, 2009, when backup shortstop Josh Wilson served up a three-run homer to Mark Reynolds.
Rookie Jedd Gyorko's third hit of the night, a one-out single, caromed off third base into shallow left. Gyorko was sacrificed to second by Richard and scored when Guzman singled up the middle off Todd Redmond (0-1).
The winning hit came three innings after the 14th-inning stretch. The game lasted 4 hours, 58 minutes.
The Blue Jays and Padres weren't alone playing deep into the night, though. After nearly five hours of rain delays, the Tampa Bay-Cleveland game ended about 20 minutes before this one did — one night after the Royals beat the Cardinals in a rain-delayed game that finished at 3:14 a.m. CDT.
It was the longest game for the Blue Jays since they played the longest game in franchise history, 18 innings against the Angels on July 28, 2005.
"It's tough to watch because we couldn't get anything to fall and then couldn't get timely hitting at the end," Toronto starter Chad Jenkins said.
Each team used seven relievers, and each bullpen threw 11 2-3 innings. San Diego's allowed five hits, no walks and struck out 10. Toronto's allowed one run, six hits, walked three and also struck out 10.
"It's a tough loss for us," Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil said. "It would be nice to have something to show for it. Unfortunately, we don't. But it doesn't take anything away from our bullpen, Redmond in particular. He got out of a lot of jams."
Four Padres relievers retired 17 Blue Jays batters in a row before Adam Lind singled leading off the 13th, his third hit.
Toronto's Colby Rasmus had a two-run homer among his season-high four hits and robbed Yonder Alonso of a solo shot.
The Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead after four innings on two home runs off Jason Marquis. Rasmus hit a two-run drive to straightaway centre with one out in the second. His ninth homer came after J.P. Arencibia walked.
In the bottom of the inning, Rasmus made a leaping catch to rob Alonso of a homer. Alonso doffed his batting helmet toward Rasmus.
Edwin Encarnacion lined Marquis' first pitch of the fourth into the balcony on the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner, his 15th.
The Padres tied it at 3 in the fifth. Gyorko hit a two-run double to right-centre with one out, went to third on the throw home and scored on Arencibia's errant throw to third. Carlos Quentin was hit by a pitch on the back of his left hand leading off the inning and Alonso followed with a single.
Toronto failed to take advantage of two bases-loaded situations. Marquis got two straight outs after allowing Encarnacion's homer but then loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before striking out Jenkins.
Marquis loaded the bases with one out in the sixth by allowing two singles and a walk before making way for Tyson Ross. Melky Cabrera then grounded into a 3-2-3 double play.
Marquis, making his 300th career start, got his second straight no-decision after a five-start winning streak. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked four.
Jenkins went five innings for the third straight start, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits.
NOTES: Alonso, San Diego's first baseman, was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Aaron Loup in the seventh. Alonso played defence in the eighth but was replaced in the ninth. The Padres said X-rays were negative and Alonso has a bruised hand. ... Jenkins has gone five innings in five of his six career starts. ... Encarnacion is 10 for 20 with three homers and three walks against Marquis. ... This is the third time the Blue Jays have played a series at Petco Park. They won series in 2004 and 2010 by 2-1 margins. ... Jenkins was pitching on regular rest after waiting 14 days between his first and second starts. He missed the first month with shoulder inflammation. ... Mark Buehrle (2-3, 5.51 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday night for Toronto. ... Sunday's series finale will be played at 7:10 p.m. due to the annual Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. The race will finish in a parking lot outside Petco Park and a post-race concert featuring the Psychedelic Furs will be held in the ballpark, with the stage set up near the first-base line.