The middle of Clearwater's batting order became the back end of its bullpen Monday night during the Threshers' 23-inning game at Jupiter.

Clearwater, the Phillies' single-A affiliate in the Florida State League, lost the game, 2-1, when Jupiter, a Florida Marlins affiliate, scored in the bottom of the 23d on an RBI single from Jose Duarte that dropped just inside the right-field foul line.

The Threshers' designated hitter, Joe Savery, and cleanup hitter, Darrin Ruf, combined for four shutout innings from the 19th through 22d innings.

"It's just one of those things in baseball where everybody got into a rut," Clearwater manager Dusty Wathan said by phone Tuesday. "Guys were swinging, but there weren't a lot of hits. It was an interesting evening."

Clearwater finished with 17 hits, and Jupiter had 14. Both catchers - Clearwater's Sebastian Valle and Miguel Fermin - caught the entire game, which started at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 12:07 a.m.

As the game dragged on, Wathan said he started looking for volunteers to pitch. Savery was an obvious choice because he is a former first-round draft pick who spent his first four professional seasons as a pitcher before trying to become a hitter this season.