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Cubs outlast Reds in 14 innings

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Julio Borbon waited as many as six innings for his chance on Thursday. And with two outs in the bottom of the 14th, the pinch hitter delivered for the Chicago Cubs with a two-out RBI single in a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Borbon, who came to bat with runners at first and third, lined a single off Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton to drive home Starlin Castro with the winning run.

"I was ready from the ninth inning on, probably a little earlier, looking for that opportunity to help in any way possible," he said. "It was my first walk-off, so it was definitely worth the wait."

But he wasn't the only hero. The Cubs' often-maligned bullpen worked eight shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out 13 after starter Jeff Samardzija departed.

The six relievers worked from the seventh through the 14th, with Hector Rondon collecting his first career win. Rondon struck out four and allowed one walk in two innings.

"It was outstanding," Samardzija said. "Being here and watching those guys pitch eight innings of scoreless baseball was exciting. We have a lot confidence in those guys."

Broxton (2-2) pitched 2/3 of an inning, giving up two hits and striking out one and walking one.

He wasn't necessarily Dusty Baker's first choice to use, but the Reds manager was running out of options.

"We didn't really want to use Broxton because he was sore (right elbow)," Baker said. "He was our last, last, last resort. I was even asking guys in case I had to use a position player. (Broxton) said he could go one inning and that's what we were trying to do, sneak him through."

The Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak and also denied Reds starter Mat Latos a chance to go 7-0.

Chicago's victory snapped Cincinnati's record-setting run of 12 consecutive victories at Wrigley Field, the most ever by any opponent.

It was also the fourth extra-inning game between the Reds and Cubs. The Cubs have now three of four.

Castro went 3-for-7, including a single to open the bottom of the 14th. He then stole second and reached third on Soriano's groundout to first. Nate Schierholtz was intentionally walked to set the stage for Borbon.

The Reds had threatened in the top of the 14th with runners at second and third and two outs, but Rondon struck out Derrick Robinson on a 3-2 pitch.

Welington Castillo also had three hits for the Cubs, and Schierholtz tripled twice and scored three times, including the tying run in the eighth off reliever Sam LeCure. Jay Bruce paced the Reds with a 4-for-7 day.

Latos gave up single runs in four of the six innings he pitched and departed with a 5-4 lead. Samardzija gave up 10 hits and five earned runs with four walks and six strikeouts in six innings.

Latos shouldered some the blame for the lengthy game.

"If I make an adjustment early in the game, that kind of situation doesn't really happen," he said. "If I try to make them go the opposite way, maybe they don't score so many runs off me and that I don't tax the bullpen."

NOTES: The Reds' Sunday pitcher is still to be determined, but they hope it will be Johnny Cueto coming off the disabled list for the start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has been sidelined with a sore right shoulder since June 5. ... Wednesday's 40th victory in their 66th game was the Reds' fastest to 40 since 1995. ... Castro appears to be finally shaking out of a slump with three hits on Thursday. He came into the game hitting .238 with three home runs. A year ago, he was hitting .302 with eight homers. ... After winning a season-high five straight from May 27 to May 31, the Cubs have gone 3-8 in June and are 2-5 in their last seven games. ... The teams meet again Aug. 12-14 at Wrigley Field.
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