(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) — It took 16-innings and nearly six hours but the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to outlast the Chicago Cubs when Tony Sanchez hit a walk-off single for a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night. The 5 hour, 55 minute marathon was the longest game in Pittsburgh history by time.
Sanchez was pinch-hitting for Stolmy Pimentel with two on and one out in the bottom of the 16th off Carlos Villanueva (0-2). Villanueva also gave up Neil Walker’s game-winning homer on Monday night. The previous franchise record for longest game was an 18-inning affair on May 27, 2006 that lasted 5:49 before Pittsburgh defeated the Houston Astros, 8-7.
The Pirates (2-0) led 2-0 after six innings before the Cubs rallied in the final two innings. Nate Schierholtz brought in Chicago’s first run of the game in the top of the eighth, thanks to an overturned call by replay review.
Schierholtz hit a ground ball to the second-base side that looked to be an inning-ending double play. However, upon review it was ruled that Jordy Mercer came off the bag early, allowing a run to score. The Cubs (0-2) tied the game in the top of the ninth when Luis Valbuena scored Emilio Bonifacio with two outs.
Chicago then took a lead in the 12th inning on an Anthony Rizzo homerun. Pittsburgh answered in the home half when Starling Marte singled to left, plating Clint Barmes. The Pirates then walked-off for the second consecutive game four innings later.
The Cubs left 19 runners on base in the loss while Pittsburgh also stranded 15 runners in the game. Pimentel (1-0) got the win for the Pirates pitching four scoreless innings in relief.
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