Tampa Bay Rays reliever Austin Pruitt notches rare 5-inning save vs. Baltimore Orioles
“I had one [save] last year that was three innings, but 5⅔ innings, that’s lengthy,” said Pruitt, who also started eight games last season for Tampa Bay.
With Rays manager Kevin Cash getting creative with his use of the team’s pitching staff, Pruitt, the team’s third pitcher of the day, threw the most innings.
Sergio Romo, a career reliever, lasted just one-third of an inning in his fourth start, all of which have come in the past eight days. Romo was followed by reliever Vidal Nuno, who got the win after pitching three scoreless innings. Pruitt also kept the O’s off the scoreboard as he picked up the final 5⅔ innings Sunday in his ninth appearance this season — all in relief.
The last pitcher to throw at least five innings and notch a save in the regular season was Joaquin Benoit, who threw seven innings for the Texas Rangers against the Orioles in a September 2002 game.
In all, only four times in the past 30 regular seasons has there been a save of at least five innings.
The last time anyone accomplished Pruitt’s feat was the 2014 World Series. San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner came out of the bullpen in Game 7 to earn the save and lift the Giants to a championship over the Kansas City Royals.