Grichuk: walk-off homer gave Cardinals the win. SIPA USA/PA Images
Saints and Winners

Baseball's back - and the Cubs lost their first game of the season

Don’t worry, there’s another 161 games still to go.

THE CHICAGO CUBS opened baseball’s new season with a defeat after Randal Grichuk’s single gave the St Louis Cardinals a 4-3 victory on Sunday’s opening night.

Chicago, who ended a 108-year wait for the World Series with victory over Cleveland last November, slipped to defeat after Grichuk’s decisive play in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Cardinals engineered a game-winning position after Jose Martinez lined up a double in right-center off Mike Montgomery.

Yadier Molina was then walked intentionally before Kolten Wong worked another walk, allowing Grichuk the chance for his walk-off hit.

Elsewhere, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner clubbed two home runs but it was not enough to stop the Arizona Diamondbacks snatching a 6-5 win.

Bumgarner became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball history to hit two homers on opening day and looked to have helped the Giants into a game-winning position as they led 5-4 in the ninth.

But Arizona shortstop Chris Owings singled home the winning run with two outs in a two-run ninth inning to give the Diamondbacks victory at Chase Field.

Earlier, Bumgarner hit bases-empty home runs in the fifth and seventh innings to put the

In Florida, the Tampa Bay Rays thumped the New York Yankees 7-3 at Tropicana Field with Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka having a nightmare start to the season.

Tanaka gave up seven runs from eight hits and was removed after less than three innings.

It was the worst opening day performance by a Yankees pitcher in history.

“That was puzzling for us — there are going to be days where you don’t have great stuff, but usually because of his command, he can find a way to get through it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

“Today, he didn’t have his command either. It’s hard to figure out.”

© – AFP, 2017

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