Michael Wacha outdid Tony Cingrani in a rematch of young power arms and the St. Louis Cardinals got a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first inning, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in their home opener on Monday.
Standing room attendance of 47,492, the largest crowd at 9-year-old Busch Stadium, braved day-long rain and temperatures in the 40s to greet the NL champions and visit 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 last week in Cincinnati.
St. Louis ended a three-game losing streak on opening day, including a blowout loss to the Reds last year.
The 22-year-old Wacha (1-0), the NL championship series MVP, pitched six stingy innings.