Final Score: Chicago 6, St. Louis 3 (11 innings)
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Welington Castillo crushed a three-run homer in the 11th inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Nate Schierholtz opened the 11th with a double, his fourth hit of the game. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk by Trevor Rosenthal (0-1), Ryan Kalish popped up a safety squeeze that was caught by catcher Yadier Molina.
Castillo followed by launching his second home run of the season to left- center field.
"I think he [Wellington] just wanted to get in there and do his job," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "He got a good pitch to handle and drove it out of the ballpark."
The Cardinals, who erased a 3-1 deficit in the ninth against Jose Veras, couldn't rally a second time. Hector Rondon worked around a two-out walk to record his first career save. Justin Grimm (1-0) rebounded from consecutive four-pitch walks to preserve the 3-3 tie in the 10th.
"They showed a lot of fight to get us back into the game. It's a shame we couldn't finish it," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
Veras gave up a leadoff single to Molina and grazed Allen Craig with a pitch. The play was upheld by a video review.
After a sac bunt advanced the runners, Molina raced home on a passed ball. Veras then hit another batter and issued a walk to loaded the bases before the Cardinals tied the game on Matt Carpenter's sac fly to right field.
Matt Adams doubled to lead off the second and scored on Molina's single to right field. Schierholtz nearly made a diving catch on the play.
The Cubs finally scored a run for Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija, capitalizing on an error. Chicago had been shut out in each of Samardzija's first two outings this season.
Anthony Rizzo reached on second baseman Kolten Wong's fielding blunder to open the seventh, and St. Louis starter Joe Kelly gave up consecutive singles to Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney that produced the tying run.
The Cubs then tried to pull off a double steal with reliever Carlos Martinez on the mound, but Schierholtz was thrown out at third base. Martinez intentionally walked Kalish after Starlin Castro popped out and induced an inning-ending groundout by Castillo.
Chicago did move ahead in the eighth, as Rizzo lofted a sac fly and Schierholtz followed with an RBI single.
The Cardinals have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season ...Samardzija allowed six hits and struck out four over seven innings ... Kelly also gave up six hits in his six-inning outing.
04/12 02:25:35 ET
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