Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, helping the St. Louis Cardinals top the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in a wild prime-time opener on Sunday night.
Jose Martinez sparked the winning rally with a pinch-hit double against Mike Montgomery, who closed out Chicago's World Series championship in November.
Yadier Molina then was awarded the first no-pitch intentional walk in major league history, part of baseball's offseason rule changes designed to speed up the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Grichuk's liner went into the gap in left-center for his second career game-ending hit. He was mobbed as he rounded first in the rain, and what was left of a sellout crowd of 47,566 cheered wildly.
>>Ahead of Season Opener, White Sox Place P Rodon on DL
Pitcher Carlos Rodon was placed on the 10-day disabled list by the Chicago White Sox because of bursitis in his left biceps.
The 24-year-old experienced tightness in his pitching arm late in spring training and was expected to begin the season on the DL. He went 9-10 last season with a 4.04 ERA and is 18-16 with a 3.90 ERA in 54 career games with the White Sox.
Chicago placed right-hander Juan Minaya (right abdominal strain) and outfielder Charlie Tilson (stress reaction in right foot) on the 10-day DL. The White Sox also selected the contracts of veteran catcher Geovany Soto, infielder Cody Asche and right-gander Anthony Swarzak from Triple-A on Sunday.
Chicago opens against Detroit on Monday.