Grichuk, Cardinals top Cubs 4-3 in wild opener

Randal Grichuk #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals strikes out to end the 7th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, helping the St. Louis Cardinals top the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in a wild prime-time opener on Sunday night.

Jose Martinez sparked the winning rally with a pinch-hit double against Mike Montgomery, who closed out Chicago’s World Series championship in November.

Yadier Molina then was awarded the first no-pitch intentional walk in major league history, part of baseball’s offseason rule changes designed to speed up the game.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Grichuk lined a 1-2 pitch into the gap in left-center for his second career game-ending hit. He was mobbed as he rounded first in the rain, and what was left of a sellout crowd of 47,566 cheered wildly.