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Gibbons gives players extra rest after marathon loss

Gibbons gives players extra rest after marathon loss

SAN DIEGO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons gave his team a much-needed afternoon off following Friday night's marathon 17-inning loss to the Padres.

Gibbons cancelled batting practice prior to Saturday night's game against San Diego and gave his players the option of not showing up until 5 p.m. PT.

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The 17-inning game lasted 4 hours, 58 minutes and ended in heartbreak when right-hander Todd Redmond surrendered a walk-off single to Jesus Guzman in the 4-3 defeat.

"Your body might need some adjustment time, but mentally these guys understand what this is all about," Gibbons said when asked how difficult it is to recover from that type of game. "This is the big league level, they get paid a lot of money and it's your job to go out and perform.

"Sometimes it's tough to rev the body up, but they get through that and they battle that a lot of times because it really is a grind."

The lengthy matchup tied a Blue Jays' franchise record for most innings played in a road game. The Blue Jays previously played 17 innings Oct. 4, 1980, at Boston and June 8, 1998, at Miami. The most innings played in any game in franchise history (18) came July 28, 2005, at Rogers Centre against the Angels.

The loss was another serious blow to a bullpen that has been extremely overworked this season. The Blue Jays entered play on Saturday night with the Major League lead in innings pitched by relievers with 208 2/3.

The heavy workload has left the Blue Jays with little choice but to carry extra relievers. Toronto currently has 10 relievers after right-hander Mickey Storey was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.

To make room on the 25-man roster, Friday night's starter Chad Jenkins was optioned to Double-A New Hampshire. Jenkin's demotion is expected to be only temporary, but with a pair of off-days coming up next week, the club was planning to skip his start and wanted to keep him ready by pitching in the Minors.

"Well, what the plan is, his next start wouldn't be until the 11th and this way, you have to go down for 10 days, league rules, so this will fit in perfect," Gibbons said. "He'll get one more start down there and if all goes according to plan, he'll pitch on the 11th."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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