After the lead slipped through their wet hands in the top of the ninth, the St. Louis Cardinals finished off opening night in style with a walk-off single by Randal Grichuk to beat the defending-champion Cubs, 4-3.
After 7 1/3 dominant innings from Carlos Martinez — 10 strikeouts and no walks with just six hits — Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh entered the game with two on and one out, and the the Cardinals clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Oh managed to escape without harm, stranding the bases loaded. The ninth, however, would not go so well.
Grichuck extended the Cardinals lead to 3-0 with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, and the Cardinals would need every one of those runs.
As rain fell in Busch Stadium, the Cubs threatened to score their first runs of the season. With one out In the ninth, Carpenter attempted to make an aggressive play on a ground ball to first and ended up with two runners on and no outs to show for it. As he reached into his glove to try to get the lead runner at second, the ball slipped out of his hand, preventing him from throwing. Jason Heyward won a race to first base on the play, bringing the tying run to the plate.
The next batter, Willson Contreras, sent a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall to tie the game at 3.
The Cardinals had a number of opportunities on the night, stranding 14 runners on the night, but plated Randal Grichuk provided the offense they needed.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs with Grichuk stepping to the plate. He smacked a ball off the base of the left field wall to plate the game winner, sending the defending champs in from the rain with a loss.
The Cardinals started the scoring in the third, when Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to plate Dexter Fowler for the team's first run of the season.
Jon Lester only managed 5 innings of work, but allowed just one run.
The Cardinals and Cubs will resume their series on Tuesday at 7:15.
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