ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha outdid Tony Cingrani in a rematch of young power arms and the St. Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener on Monday.
Standing room attendance of 47,492, the largest crowd at 9-year-old Busch Stadium, braved daylong rain and temperatures in the 40s to greet the National League champions and take a look at the new Ballpark Village. Hundreds milled about the attached complex, which features five sports bars and rooftop seating.
The Cardinals bunched three hits and a walk over the first five hitters to take the early lead against Cingrani (0-1), who allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings six days earlier in Cincinnati.
The Cards went 1 for 18 before adding RBIs from Matt Holliday and Allen Craig off Trevor Bell in a two-run seventh.
St. Louis ended a three-game losing streak on opening day, including a blowout loss to the Reds last year.
The 22-year-old Wacha (1-0) hadn’t allowed a run in 21 career innings against the Reds before back-to-back doubles by Brayan Pena and pinch hitter Roger Bernadina in the fifth cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-1.
The NL championship series MVP benefited from two double-play balls in six stingy innings and has permitted one run in 13 2-3 innings his first two starts.
Cingrani needed 31 pitches to exit the first and lasted four innings, striking out five but walking four. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before the game that his hitters had been a “click off” with timing against the 24-year-old lefty last week and should benefit from another chance so soon.
Peter Bourjos moved up to second in the order and got his first two hits of the season after an 0 for 13 start. Craig got his third hit and third RBI of the season after entering 2 for 22.
Seeing Wacha once again didn’t do the Reds any good.
The start of the game was delayed 12 minutes after the inclement weather combined with pregame ceremonies that featured the traditional grand entrance with players, coaches and Hall of Famers touring Busch Stadium on the back of convertibles and trucks. A team of Clydesdales was kept in the stable due to concerns the field might be damaged.
Billy Hamilton doubled to start the game and the Reds put the leadoff man on base in the first four innings but were undone by two double plays.
Zack Cozart broke an 0-for-22 slump to start the season with a bloop RBI single and pinch hitter Neftali Soto had a sacrifice fly for his first career RBI in the ninth against St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal.
The Cardinals opened the first with singles by Matt Carpenter and Bourjos and Holliday walked to load the bases with none out. Craig struck out before Molina cleared them with a drive to left center on a 1-2 pitch.
NOTES: Lance Lynn (1-0, 5.40) opposes Homer Bailey (0-1, 8.31) in the second game of the series, another rematch from the season-opening series in Cincinnati. Lynn allowed three runs in five innings and Bailey gave up four runs in 4 1-3 innings in St. Louis’ 7-6 win. … The Reds anticipate activating reliever Jonathan Broxton (forearm) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. The team held off making the move Monday to give Broxton two days off after pitching on consecutive days. … Pena had two doubles and caught Cingrani for the second straight start. Devin Mesoraco was activated from the DL earlier in the day and figures to get the bulk of the playing time.