CHICAGO (AP) — The Colorado Rockies jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first, but failed to score again.
Chicago catcher John Baker scored on Starlin Castro’s sacrifice in the 16th inning to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Rockies in a game that lasted 6 hours, 27 minute – a record for longest game by time for both teams.
Colorado chased Cubs starter Edwin Jackson after he labored through 105 pitches over four innings, allowing six hits and three walks. However, the Rockies couldn’t muster anything against the Cubs’ bullpen.
“When you go 15 innings without scoring a run, you don’t deserve to win,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “Three runs in the first, starter’s out the game early. If you can’t win that game, you don’t deserve to win.”
The Rockies used all seven relievers in their bullpen, then turned to starter Tyler Matzek in the 16th. Matzek was scheduled to start Thursday, but Weiss told him to get ready to pitch during an inning earlier.
“It was different,” Matzek said of working in relief. “But I’ve thrown in the pen before and had a routine down. So it wasn’t anything crazy. I just didn’t execute.”
Matzek (2-5) walked Baker to lead off the inning. Baker advanced to second on a sacrifice, then third on Anthony Rizzo’s bloop single before scoring.
Chicago used seven relievers before Baker (1-0) became the first Cubs position player to take the mound since Aug. 27, 2012, when Joe Mather faced Milwaukee.
“It’s really cool, to get a chance to do this,” Baker said. “Rizzo and I were laughing, I was having trouble not smiling on the mound. You never get opportunities to do things like this.”
Chicago’s Emilio Bonifacio had a game-tying two-run homer in the fourth inning and a double among four hits. He is 14 for 35 since returning from the disabled list (strained right oblique) on July 22.
Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau returned from the disabled list and drove in two runs with a double. Corey Dickerson added two hits and an RBI. Morneau, who had been out since July 13 with a strained neck, entered hitting .312, third best in the National League.
Colorado ace Jorge De La Rosa pitched six innings, allowing three runs and striking out seven. The left-hander entered with wins in five straight decisions dating to June 24.
Both teams had chances to win in the 10th.
Colorado’s D.J. LeMahieu missed on a suicide squeeze with Morneau on third and Charlie Culberson on second. Morneau was tagged out by catcher Welington Castillo.
In the bottom of the inning, Castillo lined a drive deep to center field with one out and Castro on second. But the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon raced back and made a spectacular diving catch.
Rockies: In addition to Morneau, the Rockies activated left-handed reliever Boone Logan from the DL (diverticulitis/intestinal inflammation). Logan pitched a scoreless ninth. The Rockies also recalled infielder Cristhian Adames from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game because infielder Josh Rutledge has an upper-respiratory infection.
Cubs: The Cubs placed right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with a sore triceps.
Colorado left-hander Brett Anderson (1-3, 3.24 ERA) faces Chicago left-hander Travis Wood (7-9, 5.06 ERA) on Wednesday night. Anderson allowed no runs and two hits in 6 1-3 innings last Friday to earn his first win with Colorado. Wood is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in four career games against the Rockies
Morneau went 2 for 4 in a rehab game at Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday, but really felt ready to return when an MRI of his neck showed no serious damage, such as nerve impingement. “Hopefully it’s good to for the rest of the year,” he said.
Logan said the pain from his diverticulitis was debilitating and affected his pitching shoulder. “My (left) collarbone was killing me,” he said. “It was like it was broke in half because of the pain shooting.”
Logan lamented his restricted diet because of antibiotics he’s taking. “No tobacco, no alcohol, no caffeine, no gluten, no seeds, no spicy foods, no life,” he said.