Springer’s 5 hits help Jays outlast Cards 10-9 in opener
Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jordan Romano, right, and catcher Alejandro Kirk celebrate a 10-9 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in an opening day baseball game Thursday, March 30, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
By Steve Overbey in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (AP) — George Springer had five hits and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat St. Louis 10-9 on Thursday despite the Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill tying a major league record by homering on opening day George for the fourth straight season.
Making his Cardinals debut, catcher Willson Contreras left after the eighth inning because of an injured knee and was sent for a scan.
Springer was 5 for 6 with five singles in the fourth five-hit game of his big league career to go along with a six-game game for Houston at Oakland in May 2018. Springer set a Toronto record for hits in an opener and combined with Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman to become the first pair of players with five hits each on opening day since at least 1901.
“It’s awesome, obviously you want to start off good,” Springer said. “It’s only one game. But, I’ll take all the hits I can get.”
Bo Bichette had four hits and Matt Chapman three for the Blue Jays, who outhit the Cardinals 19-15 and set a team record for hits in an opener.
“It was a grind. It was a roller-coaster,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “But up and down the at-bats were great.”
Toronto won its fourth straight opener by overcoming a 9-8 deficit in the ninth against Ryan Helsley (0-1). Springer tied the score with an RBI single and Guerrero followed with a sacrifice fly.
Cleanup hitter Daulton Varsho added a hit and two RBI. The top four hitters in the Blue Jays order were a combined 12-for-21 with seven RBI and seven runs scored.
“Our offense went out there and had an amazing day,” Varsho said. “We continued to battle no matter what. That’s the kind of team that we are.”
O’Neill’s two-run homer in the third off Alek Manoah cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 4-3. O’Neill matched the mark for consecutive openers with home runs shared by the New York Yankees’ Yogi Berra (1955-58), Montreal’s Gary Carter (1977-80) and the New York Mets’ Todd Hundley (1994-97).
Contreras was hit on the left knee by a 102.7 mph fastball from Jordan Hicks on the first pitch to Guerrero in the eighth inning, which bounced away for a wild pitch. Guerrero followed with a two-run single for an 8-7 lead.
“He’s hurting pretty good,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “It squared him up in the knee.”
Contreras was scheduled to get an MRI later in the evening.
“Hope it’s just day to day,” Marmol said.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run double in the bottom half off Yimi García (1-0) and had three RBIs.
Jordan Romano struck out two in a perfect ninth for the save, fanning World Baseball Classic fan favorite Lars Nootbar on a slider to end the game.
St. Louis 41-year-old right-hander Adam Wainwright sang the national anthem to the surprise of the standing room only crowd of 47,649. The 41-year-old is an accomplished musician who plays guitar.
“Adam did a real nice job,” Marmol said.
Despite the pitch clock, the game lasted 3 hours, 38 minutes
Brendan Donovan hit a solo homer that tied the score 5-5 in the fourth off Manoah, who gave up five runs and 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas allowed five runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
St. Louis OF Jordan Walker at 20 years, 312 days became the youngest player to make his debut for the Cardinals since Rick Ankiel at 20 years, 35 days on Aug. 23, 1999. Walker went 1 for 5 with an RBI groundout.
Cardinals: Wainwright remains on the 10-day IL with a groin injury sustained while working out with the U.S. during the World Baseball Classic. He is eligible to be activated on April 9.
St. Louis RHP Jack Flaherty (2-1, 4.25 ERA last season) will face RHP Kevin Gausman (12-10, 3.35) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday. Flaherty was the opening day starter in 2021 and 2022. Gausman is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA in nine appearances against St. Louis.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Gauld nets winner as Whitecaps beat CF Montreal to claim Canadian Championship
VANCOUVER — Ryan Gauld scored the matchwinner off a penalty in the 65th minute as the Vancouver Whitecaps beat CF Montreal 2-1 to ensure the Canadian Championship trophy stays on the West Coast for another year.
Montreal scored its lone goal in the 83rd minute after Vancouver defender Tristan Blackmon failed to clear the ball in his team’s box, allowing Montreal forward Sunusi Ibrahim to tuck it past goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring 57 minutes in off an error from Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, which allowed striker Brian White to slot the ball home.
It’s the second straight year the Whitecaps have claimed the Canadian Championship.
Up until the breakthrough goal, Vancouver had been denied by Sirois’s several acrobatic saves, including one where he stopped what looked like a sure goal with his feet mid-dive.
The Whitecaps outshot Montreal 20-9 with the Quebec side leaving it until late to threaten Takaoka’s goal.
Canada men’s head coach John Herdman presented the Best Young Canadian Player Award to midfielder Ali Ahmed, who missed the match as he continues his recovery from a concussion.
Canada Soccer interim general secretary and former national team player Jason de Vos presented the George Gross Most Valuable Player Award to Julian Gressel, who recorded an assist on White’s opener.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2023.
The Canadian Press
Nevada revisits Oakland Athletics stadium plan in special legislative session
This rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics on May 26, 2023, shows a view of their proposed new ballpark at the Tropicana site in Las Vegas. The Nevada Legislature is set to convene Wednesday, June 7, for a special legislative session to consider whether to provide $380 million in public financing for a stadium that would host the Oakland Athletics on the Las Vegas Strip. (Courtesy of Oakland Athletics via AP, File)
By Gabe Stern in Carson City
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics’ search for a new home has drawn Nevada lawmakers into a special legislative session Wednesday to weigh whether the state should cover $380 million of the $1.5 billion stadium planned for the Las Vegas Strip.
The public funding would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.
The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.
The proposed 30,000-seat stadium would be the smallest in Major League Baseball.
The Legislature adjourned Monday after its 120-day, biennial session with disputes over one of the five major budget bills that funds capital improvement projects. On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo held a special legislative session to pass that bill.
Lombardo’s office had introduced the stadium financing bill with less than two weeks left in the regular session. It is unclear how many days the second special session will last.
Special sessions are fairly common in Nevada’s Legislature, which lasts for four months every other year. There have been seven since 2013 for a variety of reasons — pandemic protocols,statewide redistricting, budget disputes and approval for $750 million in public funding to help build Allegiant Stadium when the Oakland Raiders moved to Las Vegas.
The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team previously sought to build a stadium in Fremont, California, as well as San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront — all ideas that never materialized.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.
Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service that places journalists in newsrooms. Follow Stern on Twitter: @gabestern326.
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