CHICAGO – It took the Cubs 14 innings before they finally found a way to beat Cincinnati at home. Pinch-hitter Julio Borbon singled home the winning run with two outs in the 14th, and the Cubs beat the Reds, 6-5, on Thursday to end Cincinnati’s record 12-game winning streak at Wrigley Field.
“I was ready from probably the ninth inning on, probably even a little earlier, just trying to get that opportunity to go up there and help in any way possible,” Borbon said. “It feels pretty good.”
The Cubs hadn’t beaten Cincinnati at home since Aug. 9. With the win, the Cubs avoided a four-game sweep and improved to 3-10 against the Reds this season.
Hector Rondon (1-0) pitched two innings for the victory and the Cubs’ bullpen finished with 13 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings in a game that lasted 5 hours, 7 minutes.
David DeJesus homered and Nate Schierholtz became the first player this season to hit two triples in a game for the Cubs, who had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-high 13 games below .500. They scored at least five runs for the first time since June 5.
“I think we needed that win today,” Rondon said.
Jonathan Broxton (2-2) took the loss in the longest game for both teams this season.
The previous record for consecutive victories by a visitor at Wrigley Field was 10, by the St. Louis Cardinals (1943-44) and matched by the New York Giants (1950-51) and Montreal Expos (1982-83), according to STATS.
The Cubs had lost 25 of 31 to the Reds dating to Sept. 13, 2011.
Starlin Castro led off the 14th with a single against Broxton and stole second when Anthony Rizzo struck out. Castro went to third on Alfonso Soriano’s groundout to first base, and Schierholtz was intentionally walked before Borbon came through.
Castro went 3 for 7 after entering in a 4-for-48 slump. He was back in the second spot in the lineup after dropping to seventh last week and hitting sixth Wednesday, and came within a few feet of ending the game in the ninth when his double off the wall in left was knocked down by a stiff wind blowing in
“That was by far, obviously, the best day he’s had all year,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He should have had a walk-off home run. He crushed that ball. That was a shame. We would have been in New York by now.” T
he Cubs open a three-game series Friday night against the Mets.
Instead of using closer Aroldis Chapman in the 14th, Reds manager Dusty Baker went to Broxton. Baker said he didn’t want to use Broxton because of a sore right elbow and had him “penciled in as a no” but tried to “sneak” him through one inning.
“(Chapman) was my last pitcher to close out the game,” Baker said. Mat Latos was trying to win his seventh straight decision to start the season for Cincinnati. He allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Latos has won his last 10 regular-season decisions since losing to the Cardinals on Aug. 24, and the Cincinnati bullpen has blown saves in five of his games this season.
This time, however, Reds relievers did a nice job after Latos left. They allowed two runs over 7 2-3 innings.
“I felt good, because I was throwing my pitches for strikes for the most part,” said Curtis Partch, who tossed four scoreless innings. “It definitely helped me out to get some quick outs. Definitely helped me to go those four innings and not throw too many pitches.”
Jeff Samardzija pitched six innings for Chicago, allowing five runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out six. Since beating the White Sox with a two-hitter on May 27, Samardzija is winless in three starts. Chicago tied the score at 5 in the eighth Darwin Barney’s two-out single off Sam LeCure.
Cincinnati scored twice in the second on RBI singles by Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo and added two in the fifth on run-scoring singles by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Jay Bruce had four hits for the Reds. Choo reached base three times and scored twice.
Zack Cozart reached on Castro’s second error at shortstop leading off the 14th and advanced to third on Bruce’s two-out single. Rondon struck out Derrick Robinson to end the threat, Cincinnati’s first in extra innings.
NOTES: Baker and Sveum were both impressed by the pace of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night, won 4-3 in triple overtime by the Chicago Blackhawks. Baker went to United Center but left after regulation and said watching the game was an inspiration to return to the World Series. Sveum watched the entire game on TV. ... The Reds said it’s possible RHP Johnny Cueto could start Sunday against the Brewers. Cueto has been on the disabled list since June 1 with a strained right shoulder. ... Cubs RHP Shawn Camp, on the DL since May 22 with sprained right big toe, is expected to work two innings in a rehab assignment Friday for Class-A Kane County. ... Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.35 ERA) starts Friday for the Reds against Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (2-6, 4.03). ... Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) opposes Mets RHP Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96) on Friday night.