CHICAGO -- It took 6 hours and 5 minutes, a record-setting number of strikeouts, more than 500 pitches from 15 pitchers, and a daring catch by Kyle Schwarber before the Cubs and Yankees settled matters Sunday night. Actually, it was early Monday morning when Aaron Hicks scored the game-winning run in the 18th inning, giving New York a 5-4 win and a series sweep.
There will likely be a few bleary-eyed folks at work Monday after this one. With the game tied at 4 in the 18th, Hicks reached second after his bunt single and a throwing error by catcher Willson Contreras. Hicks moved up on Ronald Torreyes' sacrifice against Pedro Strop, and then scored on Starlin Castro's fielder's choice. Castro hit the ball to shortstop Addison Russell, who threw home, but not in time to get Hicks.
"I'm excited. Exhausted, but excited that we put our team on top," Hicks said. "They're a great team. We're a good team, too. To come in and beat them is a plus for us."
Schwarber made the catch of the game for the second out of the 12th when he raced 116 feet, then dived over the wall along the left-field foul line and into the stands to grab Chase Headley's foul pop fly. As the inning ended, Schwarber was bear-hugged by teammates.
"I'm going to play hard and try to make every catch," Schwarber said. "I guess I just stuck the glove out and it went in there."
Said Cubs manager Joe Maddon: "How about that play? It was very Derek-esque [Jeter]."
The Cubs forced extra innings when they scored three runs in the ninth against their former closer, Aroldis Chapman, who had given up one earned run over 11 1/3 innings this season but blew his first save situation since rejoining the Yankees.
New York led, 4-1, in the ninth when Chapman entered, and he walked Russell and served up a single to Jon Jay. One out later, Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez each hit RBI singles before Chapman struck out Schwarber. Kris Bryant was intentionally walked to load the bases, and then Chapman hit Anthony Rizzo on the left forearm to force in the tying run. Tyler Clippard replaced Chapman and got Ben Zobrist on a groundout to send the game to extras.
"To come back and get those [runs] against Aroldis, bully for us," Maddon said. "That was some really great at-bats right there culminating in a hit by pitch. That's not easy to do, to get three runs against that fella under these circumstances."
The two teams combined for a Major League-record 48 strikeouts, topping the previous high of 43 that was set in a 20-inning game between the Angels and A's on July 9, 1971. The previous Wrigley Field high was 37, set May 31, 2003, between the Cubs and Astros.
"For the most part, man, epic strikeout performance," Maddon said.
This also was the longest Interleague game in Major League history by innings.
It was a pitchers' duel for seven innings between Luis Severino and Chicago's Jon Lester, both of whom struck out nine. Lester, making his 30th career start against the Yankees, threw 120 pitches, the most since he threw 122 while with the A's on Aug. 7, 2014, against the Twins.
Severino limited the Cubs to four hits and one run, on Baez's game-tying homer in the third inning.
The game was still tied at 1 in the seventh when Castro reached base on a throwing error by Bryant. Then rookie Aaron Judge tripled off Lester to put the Yankees back on top. An inning later, Jacoby Ellsbury launched a two-run home run off Justin Grimm to provide the three-run lead New York took into the ninth.
"It's a gritty performance by our guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We had the 4-1 lead and weren't able to hold it. We had some brilliant performances by guys out of the bullpen and stretched further than they normally go. It's a crazy game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Yanks get started early: The Yankees tested Lester in the first. Ellsbury singled to lead off, but Contreras picked him off at first. Lester then walked Hicks and Matt Holliday singled. Both advanced on a double steal, and Hicks tallied on Castro's groundout to go ahead, 1-0. The Cubs now have given up 39 earned runs in the first inning in 31 games.
Bye-bye Baez: It looked as if Baez might have to leave the game when he fouled a ball off the top of his left foot with two outs in the third. But he stayed in, and launched a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers to tie the game at 1. Hicks never saw the ball, looking lost as he stood in left with his arms raised. It did go high into the night. According to Statcast™, the home run had an exit velocity of 104.5 mph and a launch angle of 39 degrees. It registered a max height of 143 feet. Baez's home run tied Rizzo's blast on April 26 for the highest launch angle for the Cubs this year.
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This was the Cubs' longest game by innings since an 18-inning game Aug. 15, 2006, at Houston.
X-rays were negative of Rizzo's left wrist, where he was hit by the Chapman pitch. Baez was to be examined Monday after fouling a ball off his foot. Jason Heyward was not available because of a sore knuckle on his right hand.
"Luckily, it's nothing significant," Rizzo said. "I thank my parents I drank my milk when I was a kid. I have some decent bones."
"A crazy game. It would have been nice to have won it. We lost two crazy games against these guys on this homestand. What are you going to do, man? Just move it forward." -- Maddon
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: The Yankees travel to Cincinnati and will open a two-game Interleague series with the Reds on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Masahiro Tanaka (4-1, 4.46 ERA) will try for his fifth straight win against Rookie Davis (1-1, 7.36), a former Yankees farmhand who was dealt to Cincinnati in the 2015 Aroldis Chapman trade.
Cubs:Jake Arrieta will open the Cubs' three-game series in Denver on Monday night. The right-hander has posted three straight quality starts and is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts vs. the Rockies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 CT.