How it happened: Pinch hitter Julio Borbon's walk-off single scored Starlin Castro with the winning run in the 14th inning. The Cubs played their longest game of the season in both time and innings. Second baseman Darwin Barney tied the game with a two-out single in the eighth inning, helping advance the game toward extra innings. The Cubs were hoping to salvage one game against the Reds, who had won three straight during this four-game series. Cincinnati had won 12 consecutive games at Wrigley Field since 2012. Starter Jeff Samardzija and Reds ace Matt Latos matched up in the finale. Samardzija had little movement on his fastball as the Reds scored five runs on 10 hits in his six innings. The club had been in a horrendous batting slump at home, hitting .158 while averaging 2.4 runs per game in their last eight home dates (since June 1). Welington Castillo tied the game with an RBI base hit in the fourth inning. Castillo has contributed just 3 RBIs in the past three weeks. Cubs rightfielder Nate Schierholtz pitched in with two triples and three runs.
What it means: Despite receiving a no-decision, Samardzija now leads the National League in strikeouts with 105. He threw a season-high 116 pitches. The Cubs ended their homestand 2-5. Chicago had lost 20 times in games they had at least one lead. Entering Thursday's action the Cubs had improved by four games in the standings after 63 games from the 2012 standings. Starlin Castro made his first error in 18 games and two in the game.
Outside the box: Manager Dale Sveum moved Castro back up to the two-hole of his unproductive lineup. Castro was still in a slump but Sveum pointed out nobody was hitting on his club right now ... Sveum confirmed that injured relief pitcher Zach Putnam had a bone spur in his pitching elbow. ... Shawn Camp will throw two innings in a rehab outing at Class A Kane County on Friday. Camp will be re-evaluated after his appearance and may join the team in St. Louis if all goes well. The pitcher sprained a toe and was placed on the 15-day DL May 22. ... Gold glove winner Barney has not made an error this season. He has a 53-game errorless streak dating back to Sept. 30.