Chicago at Pittsburgh

Final 11th
Chi. Cubs
W: M. McLeary (1-0) L: R. Dempster (1-7)
HR: CHC - None   PIT - None

Pirates almost out of cellar as Sanchez drives home win in 11th

CBS wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay are among the few Pittsburgh Pirates with something tangible to achieve in September. They hope it's not too long until the entire club is playing for something in the final full month of the season.

Sanchez's second two-run single of the game finished off Pittsburgh's three-run rally in the 11th inning and the Pirates withstood 20 hits to beat the Chicago Cubs 10-9 Wednesday and sweep their series.

Michael Barrett's run-scoring single and Ronny Cedeno's sacrifice fly off Marty McLeary (1-0) put the Cubs up 9-7 in the top of the inning. But Jose Castillo's fourth hit, an RBI single, got the Pirates to within a run and Sanchez won it with a pop-fly single down the right field line against Ryan Dempster (1-7).

Sanchez is the NL batting leader with a .347 average, and is better still in clutch situations with a .423 average (52-for-123) with runners in scoring position.

"You don't want anyone else up there," said Xavier Nady, whose third hit of the game started the rally. "He's been awesome in those situations."

Sanchez insists he doesn't do anything differently at the plate when he has a chance to keep a rally going or win a game.

"That's the situation you want to be in," Sanchez said. "Everybody did their part there. All I did was come up with the bases loaded, and you just try to be confident in those situations."

Before getting his single, Sanchez hit a roller down the line that first baseman Derrek Lee argued was fair. TV replays appeared to show it crossing the foul line before reaching the bag.

"If it was fair, that would have been the game," manager Dusty Baker said. "It seems like razor thin always cuts us."

The Pirates also had 20 hits in completing their first three-game sweep of the Cubs since 2000 and first in Pittsburgh since April 9-11, 1999. The Pirates also dodged their 82nd loss, which would ensure them of a 14th consecutive losing season. The Phillies set the major league record with 16 in a row from 1933-48.

Still, Bay sees some positive signs in a Pirates team that is 23-21 since the All-Star break after being 30 games under .500 before it. The Pirates also are 9-2 in one-run games after having a major league-worst 25 such losses at the break.

"We do believe now we can pull it out, instead of hoping we can pull it out," said Bay, who is one homer away from joining Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner as the only Pirates right-handed hitters with consecutive 30-homer seasons. "Maybe we can stay on a little roll and carry it into September."

Bay had three hits as the Pirates closed to within 1½ games of overtaking the Cubs for fifth place in the NL Central. The Pirates have been in last place since starting 0-6, but the Cubs went 11-17 in August.

In the second 11-inning game between the NL's two worst teams in less than 24 hours, the Cubs tied it at 7 in the eighth on Ryan Theriot's career-high fifth hit. Jones had four hits, while Matt Murton and Cedeno each drove in two runs.

"You go out and hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and you take what comes," Barrett said after the Cubs ended an 0-6 road trip to St. Louis and Pittsburgh. "Right now, it seems to be the worst."

In a game featuring 40 hits, even the pitchers were hitters. Pirates starter Victor Santos helped himself with two hits, including a double that started a three-run third inning, and only his second career RBI on a bunt single in the fifth.

Cubs rookie right-hander Juan Mateo sustained a deep bone bruise when he was struck on the right forearm by a Jose Bautista line drive in the third, but X-rays did not reveal any fracture. The right-hander made his fifth career start since being called up Aug. 1, giving up three runs and four hits in two-plus innings before leaving. Sanchez followed with a two-run single off David Aardsma.

Cubs shortstop Cedeno's throwing error also led to a run in the first, only about 14 hours after the Cubs committed a season-high four errors in a 7-6 loss.


  • The Cubs were swept in their 11th series.
  • The game lasted 4:14 after the teams played for 3 hours, 34 minutes on Tuesday.
  • The Pirates went 13-15 in August.
  • McLeary and Sanchez came up through the Red Sox organization together. McLeary pitched in his fifth career game, three with San Diego in 2004.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Freddy Sanchez is clutch for the Bucs, and Jose Castillo lets him know it when he drives in the winner.  (AP)
Freddy Sanchez is clutch for the Bucs, and Jose Castillo lets him know it when he drives in the winner. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Theriot
AB 6
R 2
H 5
HR 0

J. Castillo
AB 6
R 2
H 4
HR 0

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF5010001 .283
    Will Ohman, P00000001.000
   a- Henry Blanco, PH1000010 .252
    Ryan Dempster, P1000012 .000
Ryan Theriot, 2B6251000 .333
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5120105 .289
Phil Nevin, 1B3111011 .245
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .200
   b- Freddie Bynum, PH0000000 .257
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Angel Pagan, CF1110100 .279
Jacque Jones, RF6241000 .285
Michael Barrett, C5011005 .312
Matt Murton, LF5012112 .290
Ronny Cedeno, SS5112013 .240
Juan Mateo, P1000010 .000
    David Aardsma, P0000000 .000
   c- Carlos Zambrano, PH1000010 .143
    Les Walrond, P0000000 .000
    John Mabry, 1B1011000 .218
   d- Derrek Lee, PH-1B2120100 .282
a-struck out for Ohman in the 10th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Novoa in the 7th
c-struck out for Aardsma in the 4th
d-singled for Mabry in the 8th
2B - Ryan Theriot (5, Bayliss), Aramis Ramirez (32, Santos), Ronny Cedeno (12, Santos)
SF - Ronny Cedeno (3)
SH - Freddie Bynum (2), Michael Barrett (2)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (5), Phil Nevin (64), Jacque Jones (66), Michael Barrett (53), Matt Murton 2 (52), Ronny Cedeno 2 (33), John Mabry (17)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (1), Matt Murton 2 (20), Ronny Cedeno (13), John Mabry (12)
SB - Ryan Theriot (7, 2nd base off Santos/Doumit), Derrek Lee (6, 2nd base off McLeary/Doumit)
Team LOB - 13
Outfield Assists - Juan Pierre 1
E - Ronny Cedeno (22, )
Chicago Cubs
Juan Mateo 2433120 4.15
David Aardsma 1311010 5.15
Les Walrond 1.2433210 16.62
Roberto Novoa 1.1000040 4.57
Michael Wuertz 1.2200000 2.67
Will Ohman 1.1200000 4.42
Ryan Dempster (L,1-7) 1.2533120 4.45
HBP - Doumit (by Michael Wuertz)
WP - Juan Mateo (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Mateo 53-34, David Aardsma 20-15, Les Walrond 40-23, Roberto Novoa 21-15, Michael Wuertz 36-24, Will Ohman 22-14, Ryan Dempster 41-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Mateo 3-1, Les Walrond 1-4, Michael Wuertz 2-3, Will Ohman 1-3, Ryan Dempster 1-2
Batters Faced - Juan Mateo 11, David Aardsma 5, Les Walrond 12, Roberto Novoa 4, Michael Wuertz 8, Will Ohman 6, Ryan Dempster 11
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF5211108 .213
Jose Bautista, 3B6021123 .255
Freddy Sanchez, SS6124121 .347
Jason Bay, LF6030023 .291
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3111021 .236
   a- Ronny Paulino, PH1000001 .315
    Rajai Davis, RF1000001 .143
Xavier Nady, 1B6130001 .291
Ryan Doumit, C4100112 .200
Jose Castillo, 2B6242011 .276
Victor Santos, P2121000 .167
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Jonah Bayliss, P0000000 .000
   b- Joe Randa, PH1000002 .265
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .250
   c- Jack Wilson, PH1010000 .274
    Marty McLeary, P0000000 .000
   d- Humberto Cota, PH1110000 .198
a-hit into fielder's choice for Burnitz in the 8th
b-fouled out for Bayliss in the 7th
c-singled for Torres in the 9th
d-singled for McLeary in the 11th
2B - Jose Castillo (23, Walrond), Victor Santos (1, Mateo)
SF - Chris Duffy (1), Jeromy Burnitz (2)
SH - Victor Santos (6)
RBI - Chris Duffy (12), Jose Bautista (39), Freddy Sanchez 4 (73), Jeromy Burnitz (49), Jose Castillo 2 (63), Victor Santos (1)
2-OUT RBI - Freddy Sanchez 2 (30)
SB - Jason Bay (9, 2nd base off Dempster/Barrett), Xavier Nady (3, 2nd base off Wuertz/Barrett)
Team LOB - 15
DP - Castillo-Nady, J. Bautista-Nady, Castillo-F. Sanchez-Nady
E - Freddy Sanchez (9, )
Pittsburgh Pirates
Victor Santos 5.2953040 5.54
Damaso Marte (H,12) 0.1100000 4.10
Jonah Bayliss (H,1) 1111100 6.00
John Grabow (BS,2) 0.2311010 3.92
Salomon Torres 1.1100200 3.69
Marty McLeary (W,1-0) 2522120 6.75
IBB - Murton by Salomon Torres, Lee by Marty McLeary
Pitches-Strikes - Victor Santos 89-60, Damaso Marte 8-5, Jonah Bayliss 19-11, John Grabow 16-10, Salomon Torres 19-9, Marty McLeary 42-28
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Santos 5-8, Damaso Marte 1-0, Jonah Bayliss 2-1, John Grabow 1-0, Salomon Torres 2-1, Marty McLeary 1-2
Batters Faced - Victor Santos 26, Damaso Marte 2, Jonah Bayliss 5, John Grabow 5, Salomon Torres 6, Marty McLeary 11
Game Information
Attendance - 12730
Game Time - 4:14
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt