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Starlin Castro: Yankees outlast Cubs in 18-inning marathon

09 May 2017

"As guys come in, they're doing the job", manager Joe Girardi said. "We're going to fight to the end".

The Cubs were swept by the New York Yankees in marathon fashion on Sunday Night Baseball.

Meanwhile, those same people will blow a gasket if anyone ever suggests that maybe for regular-season games - of which there are 162 per team, mind you - maybe it wouldn't be so terrible to just end the thing in a tie after, say, the 12th or 13th inning.

NY was able to get to Chicago starter Jon Lester early, scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Starlin Castro that brought home Hicks.

After he bunted, Hicks advanced on catcher Willson Contreras' throwing error and moved to third on a sacrifice before he scored when Starlin Castro hit a grounder to shortstop Addison Russell, who threw wide of home.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the ninth with two men on base and two outs, Brett Gardner drilled a 2-2 slider into the right field bleachers to give the Yankees the lead; Aroldis Chapman got the final three outs to secure the most improbable win.

This was Yankees' longest game by innings since a 19-inning loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on April 10, 2015. NY also moved to 11 games over.500 - equivalent to the most games over.500 that the Yanks were all of last season (the last time on September 10). It's not a notable thing to the general public and, often, the general public just says "oh, Shlabotnik isn't playing anymore?"

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This one could have ended in the ninth without a record marathon, but Aroldis Chapman - who the Yankees coincidentally traded previous year to the Cubs during their World Series title run - blew a three-run lead.

Javier Baez and Albert Almora Jr. hit one-out, RBI singles to pull the Cubs within one after Chapman allowed a leadoff walk and a single. Rizzo got an X-ray on his arm and it came back negative.

"We've had a good, tough schedule travel-wise and I think we've shown up every day and played", Rizzo said.

Tyler Clippard then came in and got Ben Zobrist to bounce to second for the final out.

OUR PREDICTION: The Yankees are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Reds, who are just 3-13 in their last 16 games versus the American League Eat.

"I spent really good times in Chicago, now I feel good", Castro said.

Before Hicks scampered home with the winning run, the biggest highlight of extra innings belonged to Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber.

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"An epic strikeout performance", Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. Opponents have pounded them in the first inning to the tune of a major league-leading 41 runs and 11 homers through 31 games.

They used to keep his home-run balls in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. He bruised a nerve in his left elbow on Monday.

Of the 48 strikeouts, starters Jon Lester of Chicago and Luis Severino of the Yankees had the most with nine each.

Luis Severino had a similar line for NY, bouncing back nicely from a shaky start against Toronto last Monday.

In Anaheim, Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer during Houston's four-run third inning, and Evan Gattis also went deep against Los Angeles.

Baseball's new 10-day disabled list seems to be quite a hit so far.

Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (4-1, 4.46 ERA) gets the ball Monday for the opener of a two-game set in Cincinnati.

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The Cubs haven't hit the way they would like. He had been in the starting lineup Monday against the Rockies before the game was rained out.