Stuck out! Ball clings to Molina, Cubs rally past Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) " In a most sticky situation, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina couldn't find a ball that clung to his chest protector and the Chicago Cubs turned the bizarre play into a late rally, beating St. Louis 6-4 on Thursday.

The Cardinals led 4-2 in the seventh inning when things became kooky at Busch Stadium.

Pinch-hitter Matt Szczur led off by striking out on a pitch from Brett Cecil that skipped in the dirt. The ball bounced into Molina's protector and appeared to get trapped by a sticky substance.

Molina kept looking around for the ball, and didn't find it until Szczur safely made it to first base. The Gold Glove catcher could only smile and fans in sellout crowd laughed " really, who'd ever seen such a thing?

Catchers sometimes put pine tar somewhere on their uniforms, often around the shin guards, to help give them a better grip.

The World Series champions won two in a row after losing to the Cards on opening night.

John Lackey (1-0) threw six solid innings against his former team and new Cubs closer Wade Davis got his second save.

REDS 7, PHILLIES 4

CINCINNATI (AP) " Relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen connected for a pinch-hit homer that put Cincinnati ahead and the Reds overcame a rough major league debut by Rookie Davis to beat Philadelphia.

Adam Duvall also homered as the Reds rallied from an early three-run deficit to take the opening series, winning two of three.

Lorenzen's solo homer " the second of his career " off Adam Morgan (0-1) put the Reds ahead 5-4 in the sixth inning. Manager Bryan Price used the reliever because he's working with a short-handed bench.

Cody Reed (1-0) got his first major league win by escaping threats in each of his two innings. Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his first save.

METS 6, BRAVES 2

NEW YORK (AP) " Matt Harvey dominated with a fastball in the mid-90 mph range and uncommon efficiency in his return from major surgery, beating Atlanta and giving New York hope his injury woes are behind him.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a two-run double and Wilmer Flores a two-run homer against Jaime Garcia (0-1), who made his Atlanta debut after eight seasons with St. Louis.

Harvey (1-0) walked off the mound to a standing ovation, far different from his previous appearance on July 4, when he was chased in the fourth inning and stared at the field from the dugout, a white towel draped over his left shoulder, a despondent look on his face.

DODGERS 10, PADRES 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) " Yasiel Puig homered twice to help Los Angeles rout San Diego.

Puig was 2 for 3 with two walks, two runs, four RBIs and a stolen base.

Puig hit a two-run homer to left off the first pitch from Jered Weaver (0-1) in the second inning. The Cuban star homered off Weaver again in his next at-bat in the fourth inning, belting another two-run shot to left field to give the Dodgers a four-run lead.

Brandon McCarthy (1-0) allowed just two runs on four hits in six innings.

TWINS 5, ROYALS 3

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) " Jason Castro and Jorge Polanco hit consecutive RBI doubles in the seventh inning, and Minnesota dented Kansas City's bullpen again to sweep the season-opening series.

After dropping their first nine games last season on the way to a major league-most 103 losses, the Twins are 3-0 for the first time since 2007. The Royals have their first 0-3 start since 2001.

Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas homered off Twins starter Kyle Gibson to take Jason Hammel off the hook in his Royals debut, but new reliever Mike Minor (0-1) let the Twins take the lead again.

Taylor Rogers (1-0) worked the seventh for the victory, and Brandon Kintzler pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.

MARLINS 4, NATIONALS 3, 10 INNINGS

WASHINGTON (AP) " Justin Bour doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th inning after the Marlins erased two leads against a shaky Nationals bullpen, and Miami earned its first win of the season.

In a game delayed by rain for more than an hour both at the start and in the middle of the sixth, Bour sent a shot off Joe Blanton (0-1) down the left field line. That brought home J.T. Realmuto, whose single in the 10th was his third hit of the game, including a two-run homer in the eighth that made it 2-all.

David Phelps (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning. A.J. Ramos, Miami's sixth pitcher, worked the 10th to earn his first save. He put two men on with one out, then retired Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon to end it.

MARINERS 4, ASTROS 2

HOUSTON (AP) " Jarrod Dyson hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning and Jean Segura drove in a run later in the inning to lift Seattle over Houston.

The game was tied at 2 entering the ninth before Danny Valencia walked with one out and Carlos Ruiz was plunked by Ken Giles (0-1). They were replaced by pinch-runners Taylor Motter and Guillermo Heredia before Dyson's fly ball landed between left fielder Nori Aoki and center fielder Jake Marisnick to allow Motter to score and put Seattle on top.

Dan Altavilla (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Edwin Diaz struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save.

BLUE JAYS 5, RAYS 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) " Kendrys Morales hit his fourth career grand slam, Marcus Stroman pitched 6 1/3 effective innings and Toronto beat Tampa Bay.

Morales homered off Blake Snell (0-1) in the third. Stroman (1-0), the MVP of last month's World Baseball Classic, allowed one run and six hits in his 2017 debut.

Snell gave up five runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. The lefty struck out five and walked five.

Darwin Barney had a one-out single in the third, and Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista both drew two-out walks before Morales sent an 0-1 pitch into left-center field seats for a 4-0 lead.

Jason Grilli came in for Joe Smith with two on and one out in the ninth and threw a run-scoring wild pitch before getting his first save.

DIAMONDBACKS 9, GIANTS 3

PHOENIX (AP) " Jake Lamb hit a three-run homer and Arizona won a four-game series over San Francisco at Chase Field for the first time in nine years.

The Diamondbacks needed seven tries to win a home series in 2016 but are 3-1 for the first time since 2013 under first-year manager Torey Lovullo. And they did it against the Giants, who won nine of 10 in the desert last season.

Arizona's David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt hit solo homers off Jeff Samardzija (0-1), and Peralta and A.J. Pollock each had two RBIs.

Jorge De La Rosa (1-0) got one out and walked two after replacing Robbie Ray in the sixth inning.

ROCKIES 2, BREWERS 1

MILWAUKEE (AP) " Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds homered and Antonio Senzatela pitched five strong innings in his major league debut to help Colorado beat Milwaukee.

Arenado homered off Neftali Feliz (0-1) leading off the ninth. Former Brewer Reynolds led off the third against starter Chase Anderson with his second home run of the season.

The Rockies won three of four games in the season-opening series.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis tied it in the seventh with a solo homer off reliever Adam Ottavino.

Mike Dunn (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Greg Holland finished for his third save in three chances.

WHITE SOX 11, TIGERS 2

CHICAGO (AP) " Matt Davidson had his first career triple and first home run with Chicago.

Geovany Soto, the catcher who joined the White Sox as a free agent this offseason, added his first two home runs for Chicago to help give Rick Renteria his first victory as the team's manager.

James Shields (1-0) threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out five. Shields allowed Tyler Collins' solo homer in the second inning to open the scoring, but the Tigers managed only four hits.

Soto's three-run home run in the third made it 5-1 and chased Detroit starter Matthew Boyd (0-1).

ATHLETICS 5, ANGELS 1

OAKLAND, California (AP) " Andrew Triggs pitched into the sixth inning for his second major league win, Ryon Healy homered to cap a four-run third and Oakland beat Los Angeles for an opening four-game split.

Triggs (1-0) allowed an unearned run, four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Liam Hendricks, Santiago Casilla and Sean Doolitte combined for hitless relief.

Tyler Skaggs (0-1) had gotten a victory in his first start each season from 2013-16 but that streak came to an end. He gave up five runs, five hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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