ST. LOUIS (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 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.
Once Szczur reached on what was scored as a wild pitch, the Cardinals lost their grip on this game.
After a walk, Kyle Schwarber hit a go-ahead, three-run homer. The Cubs added another run later in the inning against Cecil (0-1).
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.
Addison Russell drove in a pair of runs on groundouts for Chicago.
St. Louis starter Lance Lynn went 5 1-3 innings in his first appearance since Oct. 2, 2015. The right-hander, who’d been out since having Tommy John surgery, gave up two runs and five hits.
NL MVP Kris Bryant went 0 for 4 and struck out twice. He also walked and scored a run. The Cubs slugger is 0 for 13 this season.
Cubs: LHP Brian Duensing remains on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms. He is eligible to come off on Sunday.
Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty did not start, but came into the game as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning. Piscotty was hit in the head by a throw from INF Javier Baez while sliding into the plate in a 2-1 loss on Tuesday.
Cubs: LHP Brett Anderson will face Milwaukee RHP Jimmy Nelson in the first of a three-game set in Milwaukee on Friday. Anderson will be making his Cubs debut after eight seasons with Oakland (2009-2013), Colorado (2014) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2015-16).)
Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake will face Cincinnati LHP Amir Garrett when St. Louis concludes its season-opening homestand with the first of a three games on Friday. Leake has won 10 or more games in four of the last six seasons.