Cardinals make it four-straight in walk-off
The St. Louis Cardinals pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning to take the series opener from the division rival Chicago Cubs, 3-2.
With the outfielders pulled in on the infield dirt and the bases loaded in the tenth, Jhonny Peralta hit a slow-rolling snubber to right-fielder Mike Baxter, who was playing near second base in on the grass.
The Chicago outfielder fielded the roller, but his throw home was wide, allowing Peter Bourjos to score the winning run as St. Louis improved to a Major League-best 25 games over .500.
St. Louis (49-24) was baffled all night-long by Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, who was dominant, allowing just one run on three hits over seven sterling innings.
However, it was the erratic Chicago bullpen that cost the visiting team a shot at gaining ground on the Cardinals in the standings.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, recently-promoted outfielder Greg Garcia took the 3-1 pitch from Pedro Strop and deposited it into the center-field seats, tying the game at two and setting up the eventual walk-off win.
The Cardinals opened the scoring against Arrieta in the bottom of the second, via an RBI triple by Randal Grichuk, his fifth three-bagger of the season.
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The Cubs took a lead in the top of the seventh when third baseman Kris Bryant plated a run via a sacrifice fly against Lackey, who was solid all night, as well.
The veteran turned in seven innings of two-run baseball, walking three and striking out five. On the year, his earned run average stands at an impressive 3.35 and the lights-out Cardinals bullpen took over from there.
The two teams struggled with runners in scoring position throughout the contest, combining to go 2-for-17 in such situations.
Roach is making his 2015 debut, filling in the for the injured Tsuyoshi Wada, while Wacha eyes his tenth win of the year.
First pitch is set for 6:15 p.m. CT.