Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Home opener hoopla was no distraction at all for Michael Wacha. Neither was the 49-degree chill for the first pitch.
The 22-year-old rookie was definitely excited about the occasion and the opportunity. Just like last fall when he was the breakout pitching star of the postseason, he fed off the atmosphere.
"Huge crowd out there, a lot of energy," Wacha said after the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Monday. "It's a lot of fun pitching in front of your home crowd, 40,000-plus fans.
"I don't know who wouldn't thrive off those kind of situations."
Wacha outdid Tony Cingrani in a rematch of young power arms, and the Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning.
"I didn't have my fastball, so what are you going to do? I just tried to battle," Cingrani said. "One bad pitch and it cleared the bases."
A standing-room crowd of 47,492, the largest at 9-year-old Busch Stadium, braved daylong rain to greet the National League champions and take a look at the new Ballpark Village. Hundreds milled about the attached complex, which features five sports bars and rooftop seating.
The Cardinals bunched three hits and a walk over the first five hitters to take the early lead against Cingrani (0-1), who allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals six days earlier in Cincinnati.
The Cards went 1 for 18 before adding RBIs from Matt Holliday and Allen Craig off Trevor Bell in a two-run seventh.
St. Louis ended a three-game losing streak on opening day, including a blowout loss to the Reds last year.
Wacha (1-0) hadn't allowed a run in 21 career innings against the Reds before back-to-back doubles by Brayan Pena and pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina in the fifth cut the Cardinals' lead to 3-1.
The NL championship series MVP benefited from two double-play balls in six stingy innings and has permitted one run in 13 2-3 innings his first two starts.
Wacha threw 82 pitches before getting lifted for a pinch hitter with the Cardinals up by two runs and two on in the sixth. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny wanted to take a shot at putting the Reds away, but thought the right-hander had plenty left.
"That was more of a situation of what's best for the day, what's best for that particular game," Matheny said.
Cingrani needed 31 pitches to get through the first and lasted four innings, striking out five but walking four. Matheny said before the game that his hitters had been a "click off" with timing against the 24-year-old lefty last week and should benefit from another chance so soon.
Pena said he wasn't trying to make excuses but thought Cingrani was bothered by the elements.
"The baseball was slippery. He couldn't grab his breaking ball the way he wanted," Pena said.
Peter Bourjos moved up to second in the order and got his first two hits of the season after an 0-for-13 start. Craig got his third hit and third RBI of the season after entering 2 for 22.
Seeing Wacha once again didn't do the Reds any good. They've totaled 18 runs in seven games.
"Right now, almost collectively, we've struggled to do anything with guys in scoring position," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "But that'll change. It's tough to sit through it."
The start of the game was delayed 12 minutes after the inclement weather combined with pregame ceremonies that featured the traditional grand entrance with players, coaches and Hall of Famers touring Busch Stadium on the back of convertibles and trucks. A team of Clydesdales was kept in the stable due to concerns the field might be damaged.
Billy Hamilton doubled to start the game and the Reds put the leadoff man on base in the first four innings but were undone by two double plays.
Zack Cozart broke an 0-for-22 slump to start the season with a bloop RBI single, and pinch-hitter Neftali Soto had a sacrifice fly for his first career RBI in the ninth against St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal, who gave up his first runs at home since Aug. 15 against Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals opened the first with singles by Matt Carpenter and Bourjos, and Holliday walked to load the bases with none out. Craig struck out before Molina cleared the bases with a drive to left-center on a 1-2 pitch.
NOTES: Lance Lynn (1-0, 5.40 ERA) opposes Homer Bailey (0-1, 8.31) in the second game of the series, another rematch from the season-opening series in Cincinnati. Lynn allowed three runs in five innings and Bailey gave up four runs in 4 1-3 innings in St. Louis' 7-6 win. ... The Reds anticipate activating reliever Jonathan Broxton (forearm) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. The team held off making the move Monday to give Broxton two days off after pitching on consecutive days.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- It seemed every time the St. Louis Cardinals hit a ball hard Sunday a Pittsburgh Pirates fielder was there to make the play.
Sometimes it was just good conventional defense that stymied the Cardinals' hitters. Other times, the Pirates' shifts made the difference.
The Cardinals managed just three hits as Edinson Volquez pitched well for 5 2-3 innings before Tony Sanchez hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning to give the Pirates a 2-1 victory.
"They did seem to always have a guy in the right place," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team is hitting just .186 through the first six games of the season. "The hitters know the alignment when they step into the box, so I don't think the shift is having an effect on them. We just want our hitters to think about playing to their strengths instead of worrying about shifts."
The right-hander had a 5.71 earned run average with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last season. That was the worst mark among the 81 major league pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.
However, Volquez looked like he was worth the one-year, $5-million contract Sunday following a spring in which he allowed 15 runs in 13 innings.
"What you saw was fastball command with downhill angle, big-time spin and tilt on the breaking ball, a good changeup and getting ahead with good pitches," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He pitched a gem."
Sanchez's double to deep center field with two outs came off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (1-1) and snapped a 1-1 tie.
The hit by the rookie reserve catcher scored Pedro Alvarez, who led off the inning with a walk, and was Sanchez's second game-winning hit of the week as he singled home the winning run in the 16th inning of Wednesday night's victory over the Cubs.
Tony Watson (1-0) retired all four batters he faced, striking out three, and ran his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 24, since last season. Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.
Wainwright went seven innings and allowed two runs and five hits after pitching seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season at Cincinnati in Monday's opener. He struck out seven and walked two.
"I can't let what happen in the seventh inning happen, especially in a close game, a rivalry game like this," Wainwright said. "I walked the leadoff man then left a ball out over the plate with two outs and Sanchez took a good swing at it. You can't do that."
The Pirates opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Andrew McCutchen doubled with one out and scored on Neil Walker's two-out double.
An RBI triple by the Cardinals' Jon Jay in the sixth tied the score at 1-1 and chased Volquez.
NOTES: St. Louis CF Peter Bourjos, who is off to a 0-for-13 start, got the day off and Jay started in his place. The Cardinals acquired Bourjos from the Los Angeles Angels in an offseason trade. ... Former RHP Chris Carpenter, who retired at the end of last season and won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award, will throw out the ceremonial pitch at the Cardinals' home opener Monday against the Reds as RHP Michael Wacha (0-0, 0.00) faces LHP Tony Cingrani (0-0, 0.00). . RHP Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh's top pitching prospect, will undergo Tommy John surgery at a date to be determined with David Altcheck performing the operation in New York and miss 12 to 18 months. ... Pirates C Chris Stewart (right knee) began a rehab assignment Sunday with high Class A Bradenton and LHP Jeff Locke (right oblique) will join him Thursday.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Rookie Jeremy Morin scored and set up Patrick Sharp's go-ahead goal in the second period, and the injury-depleted Chicago Blackhawks held on to defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday afternoon for their third straight win.
The Blackhawks ground out the victory despite skating without injured star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the third game. Forward Brandon Saad was a last-minute scratch.
Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith also scored for Chicago, which closed to one point behind Colorado for second place in the Central Division and home ice in the first round of the playoffs. The Blackhawks have three games left. The Avalanche, who host Pittsburgh on Sunday night, have five games left.
Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka connected for St. Louis, which lost its second straight and remained two points behind idle Boston for the NHL's overall point lead and race for the Presidents' Trophy.
Both the Blues and Bruins have four games remaining.
Chicago's Corey Crawford made 21 saves and St. Louis' Brian Elliott made 31.
The Blues skated without two of their top forwards, including leading goal scorer Alexander Steen who missed his third game with an upper-body injury. Vladimir Tarasenko has been sidelined since mid-March with a hand injury.
The Blues, who were shut out by Colorado on Saturday, have scored two goals or fewer in eight of their past 10 games.
Toews, Chicago's captain, sat out his third game with an upper-body injury suffered last Sunday when he was drilled by Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Kane, who has resumed skating, missed his ninth with a lower-body injury suffered against the Blues on March 19.
Toews and Kane are expected to return for the start of the playoffs.
Chicago dominated territorially in the chippy first period and outshot the Blues 11-3, but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Schwartz's power-play goal at 1:57 of the first opened the scoring. After taking Brenden Morrow's pass, Schwartz fired from the left circle, but his shot hit traffic in front of the net and bounded back to him. His second shot got through the screen and beat Crawford low.
Crawford made a pad save on Patrik Berglund's short-handed breakaway attempt midway through the first.
Elliott stopped several prime Chicago chances in the final minutes of the first as Chicago turned up the pressure. With 1:30 to go, he blocked a point-blank short-handed shot by Marian Hossa, who rocketed in alone past Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
Morin tied it at 1 at 8:34 of the second, when he drove to the net and pushed in a rebound of Bryan Bickell's shot. Bickell had picked off a pass at center ice before cruising back into the Blues' zone and firing from the left circle.
Sharp put Chicago ahead 2-1 with 27 seconds left in the second when he completed a 2-on-1 break with Morin. Morin carried the puck down the right side, then passed to Sharp who fired a shot past Elliott's stick side from the left circle.
Kruger made it 3-1 just 56 seconds into the third. Elliott got a piece of Joakim Nordstrom's shot from the right wing, but the puck trickled to the left goal post. Kruger punched it in.
Sobotka cut it to 3-2 with 2:02 left when his flipping shot from the left wing knuckled under Crawford's glove. Smith scored into an empty-net with 3.3 seconds left.
NOTES: Blackhawks D Johnny Oduya sat out his third game with a lower-body injury. Healthy scratches for Chicago were D David Rundblad and forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Matt Carey. ... Blues scratches were defensemen Ian Cole and Jordan Leopold and F Dmitrij Jaskin.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season, Jhonny Peralta added a late two-run shot and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Saturday night.
Molina finished 2 for 4 and his solo homer in the sixth gave the Cardinals plenty of cushion as they bounced back from a 12-2 loss on Friday night by jumping on Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano (0-1) early.
St. Louis used a three-run first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole then held on as Joe Kelly (1-0) wiggled his way out of trouble. The right-hander worked 5 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four in his first start of the season.
The Pirates left 11 runners on base, including seven in the first four innings.
Liriano, who struck out 10 in six innings on opening day against the Cubs, settled down after early trouble. The left-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two and striking out four.
It wasn't exactly a repeat of the last time Liriano faced St. Louis, when he held the Cardinals in check in Game 3 of the NL division series to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. The Cardinals rallied to take the series in five, though six months later it appears the clubs that finished one-two in the NL Central remain evenly matched. The teams have now split the last 26 meetings.
The Cardinals didn't give Liriano time to settle in on a brisk night at PNC Park.
Matt Carpenter led off with a single. Peralta walked and Matt Holliday followed with an RBI single to right. Peralta scored on a sacrifice fly by Allen Craig, with Holliday scoring on a perfectly placed single to left by Matt Adams.
The Pirates had their chances to get back in it against Kelly. They loaded the bases in the third but managed only a single run when Kelly walked Russell Martin.
Pittsburgh had two on with two outs in the fourth and two one with one out in the sixth against Kelly but couldn't come through. St. Louis reliever Carlos Martinez replaced Kelly and retired Starling Marte and Travis Snider on groundouts to end the threat.
The Cardinals' bullpen didn't give up a hit in 3 2-3 innings of work.
Molina provided insurance with a homer to right and Peralta's second home run with the Cardinals slipped inside the left field foul pole against Pittsburgh reliever Jeanmar Gomez in the ninth.
NOTES: Marte went 1 for 5 and has reached base in each of his 17 career games against St. Louis. ... St. Louis reliever Jason Motte, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, participated in a simulated game in Florida on Saturday. Manager Mike Matheny said the team doesn't have a pre-determined role set for Motte, who saved 42 games in 2012 before the injury. ... The series concludes on Sunday when Adam Wainwright (1-0, 0.00) is set to go for St. Louis against Edinson Volquez (0-0, 0.00), who pitched two innings of relief in a loss to the Cubs on Thursday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Semyon Varlamov tied the franchise single-season record for goalie wins held by Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and Paul Stastny had another big game in his hometown in a penalty-filled 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
Stastny had a goal and two assists and Nathan Mackinnon had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which has won six in a row and has 106 points, third-most in franchise history. Roy became the fifth coach in NHL history to win 50 games in his first season.
Varlamov made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and NHL-leading 40th win, matching Roy's total in 2000-01. The Avalanche reached 50 wins for the second time in franchise history and tied the franchise mark with 24 road victories.
The Blues fell two points behind Boston, which beat the Flyers 5-2, for first place overall. They've been dependent on goalie Ryan Miller with Vladimir Tarasenko out since mid-March with a hand injury and Alexander Steen also sidelined, and scored two or fewer goals for the seventh time in 10 games.
There were several scrums and frustration boiled over for the Blues late in the third. Ryan O'Reilly scored his 27th goal on a power play with a two-man advantage after St. Louis captain David Backes and Barret Jackman both received 10-minute misconducts.
The Blues had 91 minutes in penalties in the third and finished the game with seven players on the bench.
St. Louis has been shut out on home ice for the first two times all season in the past three games, counting a 1-0 shootout win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Stastny, who grew up in St. Louis, has 29 points in 24 career games against the Blues. He has two goals and six assists in a seven-game point streak.
The first five games in Colorado's win streak were decided by one goal, two in overtime and two by shootouts. The first three goals against St. Louis came on rebounds.
For the third straight Blues game, the first period was scoreless. A scrum at the end of the period led to a double-minor penalty on St. Louis' Vladimir Sobotka that helped the Avalanche get rolling.
Stastny scored his 22nd goal on a power play at 1:14 of the second and MacKinnon had a wide open net at 6:20, a little more than a minute after Blues coach Ken Hitchcock called timeout.
Nick Holden made it 3-0 at 10:25 after a lengthy review because he kicked the puck, but replays indicated the Blues' Steve Ott's stick touched the puck before it crossed the goal line.
Notes: The last coach to win 50 games in his debut season since San Jose's Todd McLellan won 53 games in 2008-09. Tom Johnson won 57 games with Boston in 1970-71, Mike Keenan won 53 with Philadelphia in 1984-85 and Pat Burns won 53 in 1988-89. ... Steen (lower body) did not dress for the second straight game and may not play Sunday at Chicago.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- No, this was not an instant replay, though it certainly is turning into a highlight reel Kentucky and Aaron Harrison could get used to watching over and over again.
Harrison took a pass from his twin brother, Andrew, spotted up from NBA range and watched the ball rattle in for the lead with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to a 74-73 victory Saturday night over Wisconsin in the Final Four.
It's the third straight game the Kentucky freshman has made a 3 for the winning points in this magical ride for the Wildcats (29-10), and the second straight time the pass has come from his brother for a spot-up shot from the left center of the arc.
Traevon Jackson had a last-second shot to try to beat the Wildcats, but the desperation jumper rimmed out and once again Harrison found himself at the bottom of a dog pile at center court.
Eighth-seeded Kentucky will play seventh-seeded UConn in the final Monday - the highest seed total to play for the title since they started putting numbers by the names back in 1979.
Wisconsin (30-8) set a Final Four record by going 95 percent from the free-throw line - 19 for 20. But it was that one miss that cost the Badgers. Jackson got Andrew Harrison to jump into him while attempting a 3-pointer with 16.4 seconds left. His first free throw rimmed out, and after he made the second two, Wisconsin had a 73-71 lead and Kentucky had the ball.
Who didn't know where it was going?
Against Louisville in the regional semifinal, Aaron Harrison was spotted up in the corner when Julius Randle spotted him open. He hit the go-ahead 3 with 39.1 seconds left. Two nights later, there were 3.4 seconds on the clock and Harrison was a few steps over to the left when he took the pass from his brother. The ball clanged in and he trotted backward and pumped his hands in the air.
A few minutes later, he was hugging his mom in the stands.
James Young led Kentucky with 17 points and Randle finished with 16, but only five boards to snap his string of three straight double-doubles.
But Kentucky had an answer for Wisconsin's do-everything 7-footer, Frank Kaminsky, who was held to eight points and five rebounds.
Ben Brust and Sam Dekker had 15 each for the Badgers, who came up a game short of their first appearance in the final since 1941.
Instead, it's Kentucky going for its ninth national title and second in three years, with an almost completely rebuilt roster from 2012. It's the way coach John Calipari does it, like it or not.
His star during this run: Aaron Harrison, who has first-round potential, though it won't be his final numbers in this game - eight points, three rebounds - that will impress the scouts as much as his final shot.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Shabazz Napier looked up toward the Connecticut fans in the crowd at AT&T Stadium and held up one finger.
The Huskies had just beaten overall No. 1 seed Florida 63-53 on Saturday in the Final Four. But Napier's gesture had another meaning.
"One more to go," the first-team All-American said.
The victory got them into Monday night's title game against Kentucky and it was as good an effort as any team came up with this season against the Gators, who came in having won 30 straight games, a streak that started after a loss to the Huskies four months ago.
"We have been in a lot of dog fights," Napier said. "We are just an experienced group. We believe in each other and continue to believe in each other. ... We are going to win. That is what we do."
Especially against Florida.
The Gators lost only three times this season - once to Wisconsin in the second game of the season and twice to the Huskies. The first time was on Dec. 2 when a foul-line jumper at the buzzer by Napier gave UConn a 65-64 victory.
They didn't have to wait that long to know they had this one.
The Huskies, the seventh seed in the East Regional, had outstanding games on both ends of the court.
Napier helped seal this game with about 2 minutes to play when he made two free throws for a 59-47 lead. That margin was the deficit the Huskies (31-8) faced in the opening minutes after a cold shooting start.
"I knew we was going to get back in the game. They knew we was going to get back in the game," second-year coach Kevin Ollie said. "We live and die on defense and hopefully everybody understands that."
With Ollie in a defensive stance himself most of the game, the Huskies sidetracked the Florida offense by shutting down point guard Scottie Wilbekin and 3-point specialist Michael Frazier II, who scored a combined seven points.
"UConn was very good with their pressure on our guards and we didn't convert points," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "They scored a lot on as well. So all the credit goes to them."
The Huskies were impressive on offense, shooting 55.8 percent (24 of 43) from the field against a team that allowed opponents to shoot 39.9 percent this season.
"Whomever I put in the game, it was positive and they were productive," Ollie said.
DeAndre Daniels had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut, and it was his two 3-pointers in a span of 1:43 that helped ignite the Huskies after they had fallen behind 16-4.
"DeAndre was huge for us," Ollie said. "He stepped up and really rebounded for us and was pretty much unstoppable."
Napier, who leads the team in almost every category, finished with 12 points and six assists. He definitely got the better of Wilbekin in a matchup of senior point guards, both conference players of the year.
Napier had two key second-half steals on Wilbekin, both of which led to UConn baskets. Wilbekin was bothered by cramps throughout the game.
"It was right when the second half started. I was getting a little cramp, it wasn't too bad," Wilbekin said. "I got out of the game and got some ice and it wasn't really a problem from then on."
The Connecticut guards were. Florida had 11 turnovers and a season-low three assists.
"That's crazy, that's not usually what we do," Wilbekin said. "All credit goes to them and their guards and the way they were denying and putting pressure on us."
Patric Young had 19 points for Florida (36-3), which had won all of its NCAA tournament games by at least 10 points. The Gators shot just 38.8 percent from the field (19 of 49), well off their 46.1 percent average.
"Once they got their defense set, I thought we had a hard time dealing with their pressure up top," Donovan said.
The Huskies used 3 pointers to open things up inside, hitting 5 of 12 from long range. They had such an easy time scoring inside that they had only one basket outside the paint in the final 20 minutes, shooting 63.6 percent (14 of 22).
Florida was just 1 for 10 from 3-point range and the Gators' most effective weapon through most of the game was an offensive rebound off a miss. They had 12 in the game and turned them into 13 points.
Florida's defense - which was No. 3 in the nation - was suffocating early and the Gators took a 16-4 lead with a 7-0 run that was capped by a drive by Wilbekin with 9:47 to play.
The Huskies suddenly found their shooting touch. Connecticut made four straight shots and three of them were from beyond the 3-point line - two by Daniels and another by Ryan Boatright. A drive by Napier gave the Huskies the lead for good, 23-22 with 2:20 left in the half.
In the second half, the Huskies stretched the lead to 59-47 with 2:04 left, turning the 12-point deficit into a 12-point lead. They are in the title for the fourth time, the first three all wins under coach Jim Calhoun.
Florida was looking to reach the national championship game for the first time since repeating as champions in 2007.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pedro Alvarez mashed two home runs that traveled an estimated 831 feet Friday night.
It was a series of sprints by the burly Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman, however, that ignited a 12-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Alvarez broke open a close game in the sixth by beating out a potential double play, followed it up with the fifth stolen base of his career then scored with a deft slide around St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina's tag that gave the Pirates the momentum they needed to pull away.
"I thought the stolen base was key," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He puts a lot of focus on running the bases and he's arguably one of our best baserunners when he's on."
It certainly looked like it, as Alvarez's outstretched left arm slid across the plate a split second before one of the game's best defensive catchers could nab him. The Cardinals imploded from there as Shelby Miller (0-1) continued to struggle against Pittsburgh.
Miller fell to 0-5 with a 5.92 ERA against the Pirates in his brief career after tying a career-high by allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 16-5 with a 2.34 ERA in his 33 other major league appearances.
"It's not the park. It's not the team. I just pitched poorly today," Miller said. "I guess it just lines up that way where I don't pitch well when I face them."
Travis Ishikawa added his first major league home run in nearly two years for Pittsburgh. Gerrit Cole (1-0) gave up two runs in seven innings in his first start since losing the deciding Game 5 of the NL division series to St. Louis last October.
Six months removed from a taut NLDS that pushed the eventual NL champions to the brink of elimination, the Pirates sent an early message they have no plans of going away.
Cole is considered the ace in waiting after a stellar rookie season in which he was arguably Pittsburgh's best pitcher over the final six weeks. Eager to take the next step in his development, the 23-year-old kept the Cardinals in check by mixing a fastball that consistently reaches the upper 90s with improved offspeed stuff.
He also showcased some of his maturity, working out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth by getting Jhonny Peralta to fly out. His only mistake came in the fifth when Carpenter drilled a shot into the right field stands to pull the Cardinals to 3-2. Otherwise he teamed with catcher Russell Martin to keep St. Louis in check.
"I think it was just a really well-played ballgame on our part," Cole said. "I can't say enough about what Russ did behind the plate. Not sure there are any other catchers in the entire world that could handle what I threw at him tonight."
Pittsburgh's offense - which mustered all of 20 hits in 35 innings of a season-opening series against the Chicago Cubs - made sure it didn't stay close for long after pounding out 16 hits in eight innings against the NL Central favorites.
Alvarez began the year in a 1 for 15 slump but ended that with a home run to the gap in left-center for his first home run of the season. He added his second two innings later with a long drive to right-center that traveled an estimated 448 feet.
His hustle down the first-base line in the sixth allowed Pittsburgh's rally to continue and the Pirates pressed the advantage. Molina committed a rare error after Alvarez's slide, botching a potential rundown at third base when his throw hit Martin in the back and rolled into the stands. The miscue gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead and Pittsburgh poured it on in the late innings.
NOTES: Ishikawa's solo home run in the fourth was his first since May 15, 2012 while playing for the New York Yankees. ... The start of the game was delayed 1:05 by rain, the third straight game a Cardinals' game was delayed by weather. ... Injured Cardinals 2B Mark Ellis is starting baseball activities but it remains uncertain when he'll be ready to return from left knee tendinitis. Ellis went on the 15-day DL on March 27 and is eligible to return on April 11. ... The series continues on Saturday. RHP Joe Kelly will make his season debut for the Cardinals against Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano (0-0, 0.00).
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Chris Heisey's single in the bottom of the ninth inning ended Cincinnati's record scoreless streak to open a season and sent the Reds to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night following a long rain delay.
The Reds set a modern franchise record by failing to score in the first 17 innings of the season. Their previous worst was 13 scoreless innings in 1909 and 1934.
Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier opened the ninth with singles off Carlos Martinez (0-1). After a sacrifice, Brayan Pena was walked to load the bases and the pinch-hitting Heisey singled up the middle.
The Reds were the last team in the majors to score a run this season. Heisey's hit broke an 0 for 11 slump with runners in scoring position.
J.J. Hoover (1-0) pitched out of a threat in the ninth, getting Matt Adams on a called third strike with two runners aboard.
The NL Central rivals waited 2 hours, 40 minutes to get started. They wanted to get the game in because heavy rain was forecast for Thursday afternoon when they conclude their series.
The Reds promoted it as opening night, complete with pregame player introductions and postgame fireworks. The introductions were cancelled because of the long delay, and the fireworks were shot off as the grounds crew removed the tarp and prepared the field for the first pitch.
Neither starter had a problem because of the delay.
Left-hander Tony Cingrani gave up a pair of singles and two walks in seven innings. He spent the offseason working on his secondary pitches. Last year, he threw his fastball 81.7 percent of the time, the second-most by a starter in the majors, according to STATS LLC.
Michael Wacha allowed three hits in 6 2-3 innings. He got shortstop Zack Cozart to ground into a forceout with the bases loaded in the fourth.
Cozart saved a run with a diving catch in center field in the eighth, grabbing Matt Carpenter's sinking liner with a runner in scoring position.
The defending National League champions opened the season with a 1-0 win on Monday, when Yadier Molina's seventh-inning homer made the difference. It was the first time since 1953 that the Reds were shut out on opening day.
St. Louis hasn't started a season with back-to-back shutouts since 1963, when the Cardinals posted three consecutive shutouts.
NOTES: RH Lance Lynn starts for the Cardinals on Thursday. He beat the Reds three times last season. RH Homer Bailey, who missed time during spring training with a strained groin, starts for the Reds. ... Cardinals OF Jon Jay carries a 14-game hitting streak from last season. ... Joey Votto doubled in the first inning for his 1,000th career hit. ... Cingrani picked Adams off first base in the fifth inning. He led the Reds staff by picking off six runners last season. ... Reds manager Bryan Price said RH Jonathan Broxton could come off the DL during the series in St. Louis next week. He's recovering from surgery on his pitching forearm last August. Broxton would become the closer until Chapman returns. ... C Devin Mesoraco also could be activated off the DL in St. Louis. He's sidelined by a strained oblique.