Cards fall 6-4 in extras in opener with Yanks -

Cards fall 6-4 in extras in opener with Yanks

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By Belo Content KMOV By Belo Content KMOV

(BaseballStL) — Memorial Day at Busch began as a tribute to stars of past and present, and ended with the Cardinals dropping the opener to New York in extras. 

After an hour delay due to drizzle, Michael Wacha opened the contest by walking leadoff man Brett Gardner. It was the fourth start for Wacha that was delayed by rain, with setbacks totally four hours and 52 minutes. 

Hear from three Cardinal legends: 1-on-1 interviews with Brock, Gibson and Groat.

After Gardner walked, Derek Jeter stepped in and repaid a standing ovation from the Cardinal faithful with a single into center. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single into right, scoring Gardner. 

Wacha would escape further damage, getting a double play and soft ground out to give the Cardinals a chance to answer. 

Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong obliged, slapping a rocket off the right field wall for a triple, and double to right to tie the game in eight pitches.

Both offenses would go silent until the fifth, when the Yankees once again capitalized on a leadoff walk. Ichiro Suzuki took his free pass, then Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson combined singles to score the aging speedster. 

A sacrifice fly would score Roberts, and the Yankees took the lead once again. In the sixth, Matt Holliday opened the bottom of the frame with a double off the wall in left. Matt Adams singled behind him, and Yadier Molina took a ball off the body with two strikes to load the bases. 

Allen Craig brought one man home with a grounder to short, and Jhonny Peralta tied the game with a sac fly to deep right. It was his 22nd RBI of the season, and the Cardinals had drawn even heading into the final third of the contest.

The Yankees would not relent, and in the top of the eighth, reliever Carlos Martinez found himself in a precarious spot with Gardner once again on first and Jeter at the plate. With one out in the books, Martinez threw over twice trying to catch Gardner leaning. 

The stadium crackled with anticipation as the speedy New York outfielder tested his lead, feeling for an opportunity. He finally tested his luck on 3-2, taking off on a fastball from Martinez. Molina popped up and gunned down Gardner, bringing 47,000 in Busch to a standing roar. Martinez ramped the cheers even higher when he froze Jeter on a 3-2 curve for the third out of the inning. 

The deadlock would go through the 11th, when Gardner robbed Molina’s shot to left to preserve the 3-3 tie. The Yankees then broke it in the 12th with an RBI single from Roberts. 

After Randy Choate walked the leadoff man and hit the next, a sac bunt and an intentional walk left the bases loaded for the Yankees second baseman. A sharp grounder through the hole gave the Yankees the lead, and a sac fly and another single pushed it to 6-3. 

The Cardinals would mount a rally in the bottom half, scoring one run on a Jon Jay double before ultimately falling to the Yankees in the opener 6-4. 

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