Starlin robs ex-mate with game-saving DP

Cubs second baseman gets nod from Aramis after making diving play to force extras

Starlin robs ex-mate with game-saving DP

PITTSBURGH -- Starlin Castro received a compliment from a former teammate on his potential game-saving play during the Cubs' 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Pirates on Wednesday night.

With the game tied at 2 in the ninth and Starling Marte at first with one out, Aramis Ramirez -- who played nine seasons in Chicago and was there when Castro was called up to the big leagues in 2010 -- was at the plate. Ramirez hit the ball toward center, but Castro dove behind second base and snared it, flipping in time to shortstop Javier Baez for the force at second. Baez then fired to first for the double play.

"That ball got smoked, too," said Castro, who also recorded an RBI on a bunt that plated Kris Bryant in the sixth. "I just had a scare, because the ball was that close to hitting the base. It hit the mound first, and that's why it helped. I was able to catch it and had time to turn the double play."

Castro drives in Bryant on bunt

Ramirez made a point of saying something to Castro.

"That was a great play, and I told [Castro] so later," said Ramirez, who wore a stunned look as he pulled up after crossing first base. "Probably a game-saver, because Marte would've gone to third on that, if it gets through."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.