New extra innings rule comes into play on first day of minor-league season

It didn’t take long for the new extra innings rule to play in role in a minor-league baseball game. On the first day of the Minor League Baseball season, the Harrisburg Senators and Bowie Baysox each started the 10th inning with a runner on second base.

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That’s the way things are going to go now in the minors. The league announced new pace-of-play rules in March that included that drastic change. Just like the World Baseball Classic, both teams would start off every inning in extras with a runner on second base. The league is hoping that tactic will speed up minor-league games.

On Thursday, we finally got to see that action in action … and it probably took longer than expected for the game to be decided.

The Senators and the Baysox each traded one run a piece in both the 10th and 11th innings. In the 12th, both teams failed to drive in the runner on second.

It took until the 13th inning for one team to bust out. In the top of the inning, the Senators scored four runs, three of which came on a home run by Zach Collier. The Baysox tried to battle back in the bottom of the inning, but came up a run short. The Senators won the contest 10-9.

Related: Take a look around MLB Opening Day: 

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A look around MLB Opening Day 2018
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A look around MLB Opening Day 2018
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 29: The logo is shown on the bases before the Opening Day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on March 29, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida . (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 29: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox inspects a fire in the stadium before the Opening Day game against the Tampa Bay Rays on March 29, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida . (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Fans hold signs prior to the start of the game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at Citi Field on March 29, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 29: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs wears a MSDStrong shirt during warmups in honor of Stoneman Douglas High School before Opening Day against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on March 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 29: Miami Marlins warm up before Opening Day between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park on March 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Kevin Plawecki #26 of the New York Mets bat is seen prior to the start of the Opening Day game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on March 29, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 29: The logo is shown on the bases before the Opening Day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on March 29, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida . (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: The tarp covers the field prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on March 29, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29: Fans cheer after the playing of the National Anthem before the Opening Day baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on March 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 29: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora runs the gauntlet during pre-game introductions. The Boston Red Sox visit the Tampa Bay Rays for the opening day of the 2018 MLB baseball season at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL on March 29, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Amed Rosario #1 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a two-run single in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day at Citi Field on March 29, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 29: Fans enter the stadium prior to the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium on March 29, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs' Ian Happ (8) runs the bases after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during their 2018 Opening Day baseball game on Thursday, March 29, 2018 Little Havana, Fla. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 29: A father and his daughter walk through the stands toward the field as they arrive early on Opening Day ahead of the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on March 29, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Some fans have complained that the new extra innings rule will just lead to more sacrifice bunts, but that wasn’t the case here. Neither team tried to bunt runners over the third base at the beginning of each extra inning. They were able to drive runs in without using small ball tactics.

The new extra innings rule is only being implemented in the minors for now. While Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed a desire to speed up games, there hasn’t been much talk about bringing the rule to MLB yet.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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