The Grand Slam: Infielder Leury García takes loss as Red Sox prevail in 14 innings

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Our first position player pitching alert of the season came to us during the Boston Red Sox 6-4, 14-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox at a chilly U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night. White Sox manager Robin Ventura called upon infielder Leury Garcia, who ultimately took the loss after serving up a two-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr.

Of course, typically position players on the mound are saved for blow outs and the more extreme 18-inning marathons. However, in this case Ventura had little choice aside from using a starting pitcher, which apparently wasn't an option. The biggest problem? Ventura used five different pitchers to record six outs in the eighth and ninth innings, and his aggressive strategy didn‘t work as the Red Sox still managed to rally from a 3-1 deficit to force extras. Sacrifice flies from A.J. Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore did the damage.

It was Garcia’s ballgame in the 14th and he actually started out looking confident in recording two quick outs. But it unraveled from there with two walks and Bradley’s double. Not that Garcia should feel bad, because Chicago’s first eight pitchers combined to walk 13 batters in 13 innings.

Being on the wrong side of history makes Hawk Harrelson cranky. So does staying up past midnight. Thursday might be a good day to leave him alone. 

MARINERS CRUMBLE IN NINTH: Felix Hernandez and Yu Darvish were as advertised on Wednesday, but the game between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers ultimately came down to a battle of the bullpens.

Advantage: Rangers. Leonys Martin capped a two-out, two-run ninth inning rally with a walkoff single off Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, giving the Rangers a 3-2 victory.

Texas’ comeback was ignited by Kevin Kouzmanoff’s infield single. He moved to second on Mitch Moreland’s walk and to third when Donnie Murphy reached on Brad Miller’s errant flip to second base on what should have been a game-ending force play. Kouzmanoff then scored the tying tun on a wild pitch, and Martin quickly followed with a blooper into short left field that sent everyone not wearing a Mariners uniform home happy.

It was a sloppy conclusion to a well pitched and well played game. Hernandez was in line for the victory after throwing seven-plus innings of one-run ball. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out nine. Darvish was looking like a hard luck loser after allowing two runs over seven innings. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out eight.

CUBS SHUT OUT COMPLETELY IN DOUBLEHEADER LOSS: The Chicago Cubs haven’t scored a run in over 72 hours after being shutout in both ends of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Chicago dropped the opener 3-0 to a dominant Masahiro Tanaka. New York’s prized free agent signing struck out 10 and allowed only two bunt singles.

In the nightcap, Chicago fell 2-0 to the Yankees as Michael Pineda (six innings, four hits) and three relievers shut them down.

According to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times, it's the first time the Cubs went scoreless through an entire doubleheader since the Cardinals beat them 4-0 and 8-0 at Wrigley Field on June 27, 1962. 

NO RUNS FOR YOU, EITHER!: Runs weren’t just few and far between in New York. Pitching dominated around both leagues on Wednesday. That included perhaps the most impressive outing of the day from Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, who struck out 12 in a three-hit shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In Philadelphia, Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran went the distance in their 1-0 victory over the Philliies. Teheran out dueled veteran left-hander Cliff Lee, allowing only three hits. All he needed was a solo home run from Evan Gattis. 

Meanwhile, Baltimore Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (five innings) combined with Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter to blank the Rays, 3-0.  

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!