ST. LOUIS (AP) — Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, helping the St. Louis Cardinals top the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in a wild prime-time opener on Sunday night.
Jose Martinez sparked the winning rally with a pinch-hit double against Mike Montgomery, who closed out Chicago’s World Series championship in November.
Yadier Molina then was awarded the first no-pitch intentional walk in major league history, part of baseball’s offseason rule changes designed to speed up the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Grichuk’s liner went into the gap in left-center for his second career game-ending hit. He was mobbed as he rounded first in the rain, and what was left of a sellout crowd of 47,566 cheered wildly.