Molina: "Dumb" to ask about substance on chest protector

ST. LOUIS (AP) Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and most everyone else at Busch Stadium laughed at the bizarre sight - a ball somehow stuck to his chest protector , in plain view of everybody except him.

But the St. Louis star didn't think it was so funny when asked if a foreign substance helped the thing cling.

''Did I put anything on my chest protector to stick?'' Molina said. ''That's a dumb question.''

Whatever happened, it sure made for strange situation at Busch Stadium. And it was the key play that sent the Chicago Cubs past St. Louis 6-4 Thursday.

The Cardinals led 4-2 in the seventh inning when things turned kooky.

Pinch hitter Matt Szczur led off by striking out on a pitch from Brett Cecil that skipped in the dirt. The ball bounced into Molina's protector and smack, it stayed there.

''I don't know if they've come out with Velcro on the protectors or it's just a fuzzy baseball,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''It was definitely Velcro-ed to his chest.''

As Molina frantically looked for the ball, Szczur headed toward first base.

''I just took off running,'' Szczur said. ''My first base coach told me it was stuck to his stomach. I thought, `What?'''

By the time Molina looked down and discovered the ball, it was too late, Szczur was safe. The Gold Glove catcher could only smile and fans in sellout crowd roared - really, who'd ever seen such a thing?

''I haven't seen that one before,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''I have no idea what happened there.''

Catchers sometimes put pine tar somewhere on their uniforms, often around the shin guards, to help give them a better grip.

Molina was certain about one thing.

''That play changed everything,'' he said. ''If we get that first out, everything changes.''

Once Szczur reached on what was scored as a wild pitch, the Cardinals lost their grip on this game.

After a walk, Kyle Schwarber hit a go-ahead, three-run homer. The Cubs added another run later in the inning against Cecil (0-1).

Schwarber, who injured his knee in an outfield collision in the third game last year and missed the rest of the regular season, enjoyed the big hit.

''We celebrated, I made it past the third game this year,'' Schwarber said. ''I turned the horseshoe around. I turned it up so I could make it through.''

The World Series champions won two in a row after losing to the Cards on opening night.

John Lackey (1-0) threw six solid innings against his former team and new Cubs closer Wade Davis got his second save.

Addison Russell drove in a pair of runs on groundouts for Chicago.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn went 5 1-3 innings in his first appearance since Oct. 2, 2015. The right-hander, who'd been out since having Tommy John surgery, gave up two runs and five hits.

SLUMP

NL MVP Kris Bryant went 0 for 4 and struck out twice. He also walked and scored a run. The Cubs slugger is 0 for 13 this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: LHP Brian Duensing remains on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms. He is eligible to come off on Sunday.

Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty did not start, but came into the game as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning. Piscotty was hit in the head by a throw from INF Javier Baez while sliding into the plate in a 2-1 loss on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Cubs: LHP Brett Anderson will face Milwaukee RHP Jimmy Nelson in the first of a three-game set in Milwaukee on Friday. Anderson will be making his Cubs debut after eight seasons with Oakland (2009-2013), Colorado (2014) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2015-16)

Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake will face Cincinnati LHP Amir Garrett when St. Louis concludes its season-opening homestand with the first of a three games on Friday. Leake has won 10 or more games in four of the last six seasons.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
CHC2-1
0000114006102
STL1-2
300010000471
  • W: J. Lackey (1-0)L: B. Cecil (0-1)S: W. Davis (2)
  • HR: CHC - K. Schwarber (1)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
K. Schwarber LF41131122.300.500.7001.2008.0
P. Strop P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Edwards P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Davis P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
K. Bryant 3B41000124.000.071.000.0711.0
A. Rizzo 1B51200010.250.308.333.6413.5
B. Zobrist 2B-LF50100003.125.300.125.4251.0
A. Russell SS50020002.154.154.231.3852.0
J. Heyward RF41200001.333.385.333.7184.0
M. Montero C40000014.000.000.000.000-0.5
J. Lackey P202000001.0001.0001.0002.0002.0
a- M. Szczur PH11000010.000.000.000.0000.5
H. Rondon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- J. Baez PH-2B10000000.125.125.125.2500.0
J. Jay CF31210101.500.600.5001.1005.0
  • a-struck out (wild pitch) for Lackey in the 7th
  • b-flied out for Rondon in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
D. Fowler CF50100021.231.286.231.5160.0
A. Diaz SS52200002.286.286.429.7145.0
M. Carpenter 1B31100100.182.231.182.4133.0
Y. Molina C21020111.333.462.333.7953.5
M. Adams LF30110021.250.400.250.6501.0
M. Bowman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
B. Cecil P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
M. Socolovich P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
a- G. Garcia PH10000001.000.667.000.6670.0
S. Tuivailala P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Grichuk RF-LF40110022.250.308.500.8081.0
J. Gyorko 3B40000024.000.000.000.000-1.0
K. Wong 2B30100100.222.364.333.6973.0
L. Lynn P20000013.000.000.000.000-0.5
S. Piscotty RF20000011.167.444.167.611-0.5
  • a-grounded out for Socolovich in the 8th
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Rizzo
  • HR - K. Schwarber
  • RBI - K. Schwarber 3 (3), A. Russell 2 (2), J. Jay
  • 2-Out RBI - J. Jay
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Diaz (2), K. Wong
  • SF - Y. Molina
  • RBI - Y. Molina 2 (2), M. Adams, R. Grichuk (4)
FIELDING
  • E - P. Strop, B. Zobrist
FIELDING
  • E - R. Grichuk
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Lackey (W, 1-0)6.06432704.501.3320.5
H. Rondon (H, 1)1.00000100.000.003.5
P. Strop (H, 2)0.10001007.713.00-1.0
C. Edwards (H, 1)0.20000200.000.001.0
W. Davis (S, 2)1.01000100.001.009.5
PITCHERSIP
J. Lackey (W, 1-0)6.0
H. Rondon (H, 1)1.0
P. Strop (H, 2)0.1
C. Edwards (H, 1)0.2
W. Davis (S, 2)1.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
L. Lynn5.15221403.381.139.0
M. Bowman (H, 1)0.21000000.001.50-1.0
B. Cecil (L, 0-1) (BS, 1)0.024421136.000.00-12.5
M. Socolovich2.01000100.000.505.5
S. Tuivailala1.01000100.001.002.5
PITCHERSIP
L. Lynn5.1
M. Bowman (H, 1)0.2
B. Cecil (L, 0-1) (BS, 1)0.0
M. Socolovich2.0
S. Tuivailala1.0
PITCHING
  • WP - J. Lackey
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lackey 98-66, H. Rondon 7-5, P. Strop 14-5, C. Edwards 10-6, W. Davis 23-15
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lackey 7-4, P. Strop 2-0, W. Davis 1-1
  • Batters Faced - J. Lackey 26, H. Rondon 3, P. Strop 3, C. Edwards 2, W. Davis 4
PITCHING
  • WP - B. Cecil
  • HBP - M. Socolovich
  • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 98-61, M. Bowman 11-7, B. Cecil 21-12, M. Socolovich 27-18, S. Tuivailala 10-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 7-5, M. Bowman 1-1, M. Socolovich 2-3, S. Tuivailala 1-1
  • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 22, M. Bowman 3, B. Cecil 5, M. Socolovich 8, S. Tuivailala 4
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
CHC2-1
0000114006102
STL1-2
300010000471
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
K. Schwarber LF41131122.300.500.7001.2008.0
P. Strop P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Edwards P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Davis P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
K. Bryant 3B41000124.000.071.000.0711.0
A. Rizzo 1B51200010.250.308.333.6413.5
B. Zobrist 2B-LF50100003.125.300.125.4251.0
A. Russell SS50020002.154.154.231.3852.0
J. Heyward RF41200001.333.385.333.7184.0
M. Montero C40000014.000.000.000.000-0.5
J. Lackey P202000001.0001.0001.0002.0002.0
a- M. Szczur PH11000010.000.000.000.0000.5
H. Rondon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- J. Baez PH-2B10000000.125.125.125.2500.0
J. Jay CF31210101.500.600.5001.1005.0
Total38610613717-----
  • a-struck out (wild pitch) for Lackey in the 7th
  • b-flied out for Rondon in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
D. Fowler CF50100021.231.286.231.5160.0
A. Diaz SS52200002.286.286.429.7145.0
M. Carpenter 1B31100100.182.231.182.4133.0
Y. Molina C21020111.333.462.333.7953.5
M. Adams LF30110021.250.400.250.6501.0
M. Bowman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
B. Cecil P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
M. Socolovich P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
a- G. Garcia PH10000001.000.667.000.6670.0
S. Tuivailala P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
R. Grichuk RF-LF40110022.250.308.500.8081.0
J. Gyorko 3B40000024.000.000.000.000-1.0
K. Wong 2B30100100.222.364.333.6973.0
L. Lynn P20000013.000.000.000.000-0.5
S. Piscotty RF20000011.167.444.167.611-0.5
Total34474031116-----
  • a-grounded out for Socolovich in the 8th
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Rizzo
  • HR - K. Schwarber
  • RBI - K. Schwarber 3 (3), A. Russell 2 (2), J. Jay
  • 2-Out RBI - J. Jay
BATTING
  • 2B - A. Diaz (2), K. Wong
  • SF - Y. Molina
  • RBI - Y. Molina 2 (2), M. Adams, R. Grichuk (4)
FIELDING
  • E - P. Strop, B. Zobrist
FIELDING
  • E - R. Grichuk
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
J. Lackey (W, 1-0)6.06432704.501.3320.5
H. Rondon (H, 1)1.00000100.000.003.5
P. Strop (H, 2)0.10001007.713.00-1.0
C. Edwards (H, 1)0.20000200.000.001.0
W. Davis (S, 2)1.01000100.001.009.5
Total9.07433110---
PITCHERSIP
J. Lackey (W, 1-0)6.0
H. Rondon (H, 1)1.0
P. Strop (H, 2)0.1
C. Edwards (H, 1)0.2
W. Davis (S, 2)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
L. Lynn5.15221403.381.139.0
M. Bowman (H, 1)0.21000000.001.50-1.0
B. Cecil (L, 0-1) (BS, 1)0.024421136.000.00-12.5
M. Socolovich2.01000100.000.505.5
S. Tuivailala1.01000100.001.002.5
Total9.01066371---
PITCHERSIP
L. Lynn5.1
M. Bowman (H, 1)0.2
B. Cecil (L, 0-1) (BS, 1)0.0
M. Socolovich2.0
S. Tuivailala1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • WP - J. Lackey
  • Pitches-Strikes - J. Lackey 98-66, H. Rondon 7-5, P. Strop 14-5, C. Edwards 10-6, W. Davis 23-15
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Lackey 7-4, P. Strop 2-0, W. Davis 1-1
  • Batters Faced - J. Lackey 26, H. Rondon 3, P. Strop 3, C. Edwards 2, W. Davis 4
PITCHING
  • WP - B. Cecil
  • HBP - M. Socolovich
  • Pitches-Strikes - L. Lynn 98-61, M. Bowman 11-7, B. Cecil 21-12, M. Socolovich 27-18, S. Tuivailala 10-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - L. Lynn 7-5, M. Bowman 1-1, M. Socolovich 2-3, S. Tuivailala 1-1
  • Batters Faced - L. Lynn 22, M. Bowman 3, B. Cecil 5, M. Socolovich 8, S. Tuivailala 4
  • 7TH INNING
    Russell grounded out to pitcher, Bryant scored, Rizzo to second64
    Schwarber homered to right, Szczur and Jay scored54
  • 6TH INNING
    Russell grounded out to second, Rizzo scored24
  • 5TH INNING
    Molina hit sacrifice fly to left, Diaz scored14
    Jay singled to center, Heyward scored, Lackey to third13
  • 1ST INNING
    Grichuk singled to left, Molina scored, Adams to second03
    Adams singled to right, Carpenter scored, Molina to third02
    Molina safe at first on 2nd baseman Zobrist fielding error, Diaz scored, Carpenter to second03
  • 9TH INNING
    • Sam Tuivailala pitching
    • A. Rizzo: Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Rizzo struck out on foul tip
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Zobrist singled to center
    • A. Russell: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Russell flied out to right
    • J. Heyward: Heyward grounded out to first
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • Wade Davis relieved Carl Edwards
    • K. Wong: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Wong doubled to deep center
    • S. Piscotty: Ball, Piscotty grounded out to second, Wong to third
    • D. Fowler: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Fowler struck out swinging
    • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Diaz flied out to right
    • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Javier Baez hit for Hector Rondon
    • J. Baez: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Baez flied out to right
    • J. Jay: Ball, Jay singled to left center, on center fielder Grichuk fielding error
    • K. Schwarber: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Schwarber struck out looking
    • K. Bryant: Strike looking, Ball, Bryant grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
    • Pedro Strop pitching
    • M. Carpenter: Foul, Ball, Ball, Carpenter grounded out to third
    • Y. Molina: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Molina walked
    • Greg Garcia hit for Miguel Socolovich
    • G. Garcia: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Garcia safe at first on Strop fielding error, Molina to second
    • Carl Edwards relieved Pedro Strop
    • R. Grichuk: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Grichuk struck out swinging
    • J. Gyorko: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gyorko struck out looking
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Brett Cecil relieved Matt Bowman
    • Matt Szczur hit for John Lackey
    • M. Szczur: Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Szczur struck out, reached on passed ball
    • J. Jay: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Jay walked, Szczur to second
    • K. Schwarber: Schwarber homered to right, Szczur and Jay scored
    • K. Bryant: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bryant walked
    • A. Rizzo: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Rizzo singled to center, Bryant to third
    • Miguel Socolovich relieved Brett Cecil
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt to third, Ball, Foul, Zobrist popped out to catcher
    • A. Russell: Strike swinging, Ball, Russell grounded out to pitcher, Bryant scored, Rizzo to second
    • J. Heyward: Strike looking, Ball, Heyward hit by pitch
    • M. Montero: Strike looking, Montero flied out to deep center
    • Middle of the 7th (4 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Hector Rondon pitching
    • S. Piscotty: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Piscotty struck out looking
    • D. Fowler: Fowler flied out to center
    • A. Diaz: Ball, Diaz lined out to left
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • A. Rizzo: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Rizzo doubled to left center
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Zobrist grounded out to second, Rizzo to third
    • Matt Bowman pitching
    • Stephen Piscotty in right
    • A. Russell: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Russell grounded out to second, Rizzo scored
    • J. Heyward: Strike looking, Ball, Heyward reached on an infield single
    • M. Montero: Ball, Strike looking, Montero flied out to left
    • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • R. Grichuk: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Grichuk grounded out to third
    • J. Gyorko: Ball, Strike looking, Gyorko grounded out to second
    • K. Wong: Ball, Ball, Wong grounded out to second
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • A. Russell: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Russell grounded out to shortstop
    • J. Heyward: Heyward singled to right
    • M. Montero: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Montero struck out swinging
    • J. Lackey: Lackey singled to center, Heyward to second
    • J. Jay: Foul, Ball, Foul, Jay singled to center, Heyward scored, Lackey to third
    • K. Schwarber: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Schwarber walked
    • K. Bryant: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Bryant lined out to center
    • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Fowler struck out swinging
    • A. Diaz: Strike swinging, Diaz doubled to deep left
    • M. Carpenter: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Diaz to third on wild pitch, Ball, Ball, Carpenter walked
    • Y. Molina: Strike swinging, Foul, Molina hit sacrifice fly to left, Diaz scored
    • M. Adams: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Adams struck out swinging
    • End of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • K. Bryant: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul tip, Bryant struck out on foul tip
    • A. Rizzo: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Foul, Rizzo grounded out to first
    • B. Zobrist: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Zobrist grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • J. Gyorko: Gyorko flied out to deep left
    • K. Wong: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Wong grounded out to second
    • L. Lynn: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Lynn struck out swinging
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • M. Montero: Foul, Ball, Montero grounded out to first
    • J. Lackey: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Lackey singled to center
    • J. Jay: Strike looking, Foul, Jay reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Lackey out at second
    • K. Schwarber: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Schwarber struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • Y. Molina: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Molina struck out swinging
    • M. Adams: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Adams struck out swinging
    • R. Grichuk: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Grichuk struck out swinging
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • B. Zobrist: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Zobrist grounded out to second
    • A. Russell: Ball, Russell flied out to right
    • J. Heyward: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Heyward flied out to right
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Ball, Fowler singled to left
    • A. Diaz: Diaz grounded into double play third to second to third to first, Fowler out at second
    • M. Carpenter: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Carpenter flied out to center
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • L. Lynn Pitching:
    • K. Schwarber: Ball, Foul, Foul, Schwarber flied out to left
    • K. Bryant: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Bryant struck out looking
    • A. Rizzo: Ball, Rizzo flied out to right
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • J. Lackey Pitching:
    • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Ball, Fowler grounded out to shortstop
    • A. Diaz: Foul, Foul, Diaz singled to shallow center
    • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Carpenter singled to center, Diaz to third
    • Y. Molina: Molina safe at first on 2nd baseman Zobrist fielding error, Diaz scored, Carpenter to second
    • M. Adams: Strike looking, Strike looking, Adams singled to right, Carpenter scored, Molina to third
    • R. Grichuk: Grichuk singled to left, Molina scored, Adams to second
    • J. Gyorko: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Gyorko struck out looking
    • K. Wong: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Wong walked, Adams to third, Grichuk to second
    • L. Lynn: Strike (foul tip), Foul, Foul, Lynn flied out to center
    • End of the 1st (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 1 Error)