Wainwright leads Cardinals past Cubs in opener


AP

CHICAGO, Illinois — Adam Wainwright threw six sharp innings to outpitch Jon Lester as the St. Louis Cardinals handed new Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon a 3-0 loss Sunday in the Major League Baseball season opener.

Jason Heyward had three hits in his St. Louis debut and Matt Holliday drove in two runs for the National League Central champions. Matt Carpenter also had two hits at newly renovated Wrigley Field as the top third of the Cardinals’ lineup went 7 for 14 with three RBIs.

Playing their most anticipated opener in years, the Cubs went 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

Lester was pulled with one out in the fifth inning. The ace left-hander, who got a US$155 million, six-year contract from Chicago during free agency, allowed three runs and eight hits in his fifth straight opening day start.

The biggest difference for the home team was a giant videoscreen in left field, part of a major renovation for the iconic ballpark.

Heyward got the majors’ first hit of the season when he doubled and scored on Holliday’s single in the first. Holliday had another RBI single in the fifth.

Wainwright, who was slowed by an abdominal injury early in spring training, struck out six with no walks. He gave up all five Cubs hits.