Chicago at Pittsburgh

Final 16th
W: S. Pimentel (1-0) L: C. Villanueva (0-2)
HR: CHC - A. Rizzo (1)   PIT - None

Pirates outlast Cubs after 16 innings, nearly 6 hours wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Lengthy games don't bother Tony Sanchez. He played in the longest game in NCAA tournament history while at Boston College in 2009, which the Eagles lost in 25 innings to Texas.

So it was no big deal when the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie catcher was called on to pinch-hit in the 16th inning Wednesday night.

"This was nothing compared to that," Sanchez said with a smile.

The difference between the two is, this time, in a game that took 5 hours, 55 minutes, Sanchez singled in the winning run to give the Pirates a 4-3 victory against the Chicago Cubs -- the longest game in Pittsburgh history by time.

Sanchez's hit came off Carlos Villanueva (0-2), ending the game just short of 1 a.m. and 6 minutes longer the Pirates 8-7, 18-inning victory against Houston on May 27, 2006, that took 5:49.

"The few fans who stayed were really loud and that got the adrenaline flowing," Sanchez said. "It was a great to be in a situation where I had the chance to win a game for the first time in my career. I was getting a little nervous when I stepped up to the plate then I realized all I had to do was put the ball in play and find a hole."

Villanueva also allowed Neil Walker's game-ending home run in the Pirates' 1-0 victory Monday in the season opener.

The Cubs left 19 runners on Wednesday and have gone 1 for 27 with runners in scoring position in their first two games. Yet first-year manager Rick Renteria is remaining positive.

"We did everything we could possibly do," Renteria said. "The guys kept coming back and that's a good sign for all of us. As long as we keep going out there and playing the way we're playing right now, good things are bound to happen."

Both teams scored in the 12th inning: The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo hit a leadoff home run and the Pirates' Starling Marte had an RBI single with two outs off closer Jose Veras.

The Cubs ended a streak of 16 scoreless innings to start the season by scoring single runs in eighth and ninth inning to force extra innings.

Chicago's Emilio Bonifacio went 5 for 7 and is hitting .750 (9 for 12). Luis Valbuena added three hits, including a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning off closer Jason Grilli that tied the game at 2-2 and forced extra innings.

Jordy Mercer opened the 16th with a bunt single but was forced out at second on Jose Tabata's sacrifice attempt. Starling Marte followed with a singled to put runners on corners before Sanchez, the rookie catcher and last position player left on the Pirates' bench, grounded into left field for the walkoff hit.

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton pitched six scoreless innings but was denied the victory when Grilli blew his first save opportunity of the season after converting 33 of 35 saves last year.

Cubs starter Edwin Jackson allowed two runs, one earned, and two hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start since going 8-18 last season and leading the major leagues in losses.

The Cubs' first run came when an umpire's call was reversed by video replay.

Nate Schierholtz appeared to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. However, Renteria asked for the call to be reviewed and it was ruled that Mercer, the shortstop, came off the second base bag while taking a throw from Walker, the second baseman, which made Rizzo safe at second base.

Walker was charged with an error that enabled Bonifacio to score from third base.


Both benches were warned by home plate umpire Bob Davidson after Morton hit Rizzo to start the second inning. That came after Marte was hit by Jackson to lead off the bottom of the first. Though Rizzo was hit again in the eighth inning, Melancon was not ejected. ... RHP Jason Hammel, signed to a $6 million, one-year contract as a free agent in the offseason is scheduled to make his Cubs' debut on Thursday afternoon when he faces LHP Wandy Rodriguez in the finale of the three-game series. Rodriguez did not pitch after June 5 last season because of elbow and forearm tightness.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez (right) helps the Pirates prevail in the longest game timewise (5:55) in Pittsburgh history. (Getty Images)
Pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez (right) helps the Pirates prevail in the longest game timewise (5:55) in Pittsburgh history. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

S. Marte
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 0

E. Bonifacio
AB 7
R 1
H 5
HR 0

Related Video

Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B-SS7150102 .750
Luis Valbuena, 3B6031232 .500
Starlin Castro, SS6000026 .000
   Brian Schlitter, P0000000 .000
   Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   a-Travis Wood, PH1000001 .000
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   b-John Baker, PH1000012 .000
   Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5111102 .111
Nate Schierholtz, RF8021001 .250
Ryan Sweeney, CF6010214 .143
Welington Castillo, C8010034 .100
Ryan Kalish, LF2000010 .000
   c-Junior Lake, PH-LF5120034 .333
Edwin Jackson, P2000010 .000
   James Russell, P0000000 .000
   d-Justin Ruggiano, PH1000011 .000
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
   Pedro Strop, P0000000 .000
   e-Mike Olt, PH1000001 .000
   Hector Rondon, P0000000 .000
   f-Darwin Barney, PH-2B3000011 .000
a-flied out for Veras in the 13th
b-struck out for Wright in the 15th
c-struck out for Kalish in the 7th
d-struck out for Russell in the 7th
e-flied out for Strop in the 9th
f-flied out for Rondon in the 11th
2B - Junior Lake (1, Gomez)
HR - Anthony Rizzo (1, Gomez)
RBI - Luis Valbuena (1), Anthony Rizzo (1), Nate Schierholtz (1)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Valbuena (1)
SB - Emilio Bonifacio 2 (3, 2nd base off Gomez/Martin), Junior Lake (1, 3rd base off Gomez/Martin)
PK - Emilio Bonifacio (2, Morton)
Team LOB - 19
Outfield Assists - Junior Lake 1
DP - Rizzo-Castro, Rizzo-Castro-Lake-Castillo-Rizzo
E - Starlin Castro (1, Misplayed grounder), Edwin Jackson (1, Throwing)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Edwin Jackson 5.1221450 1.69
James Russell 0.2000010 0.00
Justin Grimm 1000000 0.00
Pedro Strop 1100020 0.00
Hector Rondon 2000120 0.00
Brian Schlitter 1000010 0.00
Jose Veras (BS,1) 1111210 9.00
Wesley Wright 2100220 0.00
Carlos Villanueva (L,0-2) 1.1311010 13.50
IBB - Mercer by Wesley Wright
HBP - Marte (by Edwin Jackson), Mercer (by Jose Veras), Martin (by Wesley Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 94-57, James Russell 10-8, Justin Grimm 6-5, Pedro Strop 15-11, Hector Rondon 25-17, Brian Schlitter 10-7, Jose Veras 38-19, Wesley Wright 31-16, Carlos Villanueva 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 5-4, James Russell 1-1, Justin Grimm 2-1, Hector Rondon 1-3, Brian Schlitter 2-0, Jose Veras 1-1, Wesley Wright 3-1, Carlos Villanueva 2-1
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 21, James Russell 3, Justin Grimm 3, Pedro Strop 4, Hector Rondon 7, Brian Schlitter 3, Jose Veras 7, Wesley Wright 10, Carlos Villanueva 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, LF6121131 .333
Travis Snider, RF5010013 .125
   Jeanmar Gomez, P0000000 .000
   a-Gaby Sanchez, PH0000100 .000
   Stolmy Pimentel, P1000010 .000
   b-Tony Sanchez, PH10110001.000
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000324 .143
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7010025 .091
Russell Martin, C6000010 .100
Neil Walker, 2B6110022 .200
Travis Ishikawa, 1B3000210 .333
   Clint Barmes, PR-1B2100001 .000
Jordy Mercer, SS5021110 .250
Charlie Morton, P2000012 .000
   Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
   c-Josh Harrison, PH1000000 .000
   Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
   Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
   Justin Wilson, P0000000 .000
   d-Jose Tabata, PH-RF3100105 .000
a-walked for Gomez in the 12th
b-singled for Pimentel in the 16th
c-grounded out for Watson in the 7th
d-walked for Wilson in the 10th
SH - Neil Walker (1)
RBI - Starling Marte (1), Tony Sanchez (1), Jordy Mercer (1)
2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte (1)
PK - Jordy Mercer (1, Jackson)
Team LOB - 15
DP - Walker-Mercer-Ishikawa, Walker-Mercer-Ishikawa-Morton-Mercer-Ishikawa
E - Pedro Alvarez (1, Throwing), Jordy Mercer (1, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton 6400160 0.00
Tony Watson (H,1) 1000130 0.00
Mark Melancon (H,1) 1211000 4.50
Jason Grilli (BS,1) 1311000 4.50
Justin Wilson 1100010 0.00
Jeanmar Gomez 2311131 4.50
Stolmy Pimentel (W,1-0) 4200340 0.00
IBB - Bonifacio by Jeanmar Gomez
HBP - Rizzo (by Charlie Morton), Rizzo (by Mark Melancon)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 84-56, Tony Watson 14-10, Mark Melancon 18-12, Jason Grilli 19-14, Justin Wilson 13-9, Jeanmar Gomez 45-27, Stolmy Pimentel 64-42
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 5-6, Mark Melancon 3-0, Justin Wilson 1-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 23, Tony Watson 4, Mark Melancon 6, Jason Grilli 6, Justin Wilson 4, Jeanmar Gomez 10, Stolmy Pimentel 17
Game Information
Attendance - 29762
Game Time - 5:55
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - John Hirschbeck