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Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Rockies 3, (F/16)

7/30/2014

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in 16 innings on Tuesday night. Here’s a quick look at a long game:

How it happened: Starlin Castro drove home catcher-turned-relief pitcher John Baker with a sacrifice fly in the 16th to end the longest game in the histories of the Cubs and Rockies. Baker pitched the 16th inning to earn the win after the Cubs used eight pitchers, including starter Edwin Jackson, who lasted just four innings. Jackson labored through a 35-pitch first inning as Nolan Arenado and Justin Morneau had RBI doubles that produced three runs. The Cubs got one back in the bottom of the inning as Rizzo drove in Emilio Bonifacio, who had doubled. Three innings later, Bonifacio tied the game with his second home run of the season, a two-run shot. It stayed 3-3 all the way until the 16th inning.

Jackson lasted just four inning, throwing 105 pitches. He walked three while giving up six hits and three runs.

What it means: Jackson is doing the Cubs no favors by throwing so many pitches in so few innings. Little did he know his bullpen would have to throw 12 innings, but his team needs him to spare its taxed relievers. However, in start after start he continues to let them down. And his fielders can’t like his slow pace, either. Though it was “only” three runs, the outing seemed a lot worse due to the high pitch count.

Bonifacio is playing his way out of town as he has gotten hot at the right time for the Cubs. He was a triple shy of the cycle, collecting four hits while raising his batting average to .400 since his return from an oblique injury. Barring a strange twist, Bonifacio should be moved before Thursday’s 3 p.m. CT trade deadline.

Baker pitches: Catcher John Baker became the first position player to pitch in a game for the Cubs since August 2012 when Joe Mather threw against the Milwaukee Brewers. He induced a popup, then walked a hitter before inducing a double-play grounder. Then he came to the plate, walked and scored the winning run a few moments later.

Longest game: It was the Cubs' longest game in franchise history, the 6 hours, 27 minutes surpassing the 6:10 played on Aug. 17, 1982.

What’s next: Game 3 of the series takes place on Wednesday night when Travis Wood (7-9, 5.06) takes on Brett Anderson (1-3, 3.24).