LEADING OFF: Cubs and Yankees try again, Shoemaker returns

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LEADING OFF: Cubs and Yankees try again, Shoemaker returns

The contract also follows St. Louis' signing of star pitcher Carlos Martinez to a $51 million, five-year deal in February - ending a brief, but hectic period of negotiating with homegrown talent for a Cardinals team intent remaining relevant as a mid-market team in an National League Central now ruled by the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It started with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Piscotty was hit on the right elbow by a Jake Arrieta pitch.

First, he was hit in the elbow by a Jake Arrieta pitch to get on base. He took second on a wild pitch, and was hit by the throw to second by Contreras. The final blow came when Piscotty scored on an infield hit by Kolten Wong.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny labelled it the toughest trip around the bases he'd seen, after the third throw crashed into Piscotty's helmeted head and left him crumpled at home plate.

Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty inked a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension on Monday.

Piscotty lay on the ground for a couple of minutes before getting up and walking off the field.

A fan watches as Chicago Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. leaps to catch a ball at the wall hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams for an out during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in St. Louis. The right-hander is hoping to bounce back this season after recording a 4.62 ERA past year.

The Cubs have had trouble stringing together hits in the same inning in this series, managing just five runs.

"That was just terrible, man", Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the injury to Piscotty. So, there's no way the defending World Series champions will lose consecutive games to open the season, right? But their excellent defense enabled them to make two fourth-inning runs Tuesday night stand up for a win. He had 22 homers and 85 RBIs in 153 games a year ago. He is carrying the momentum generated by his strong spring: 19 for 50 (.380) with four doubles, a triple, four homers, 12 walks drawn and 15 RBIs.

The 26-year-old is one of the rising stars of the organization, but the Cardinals will have to look elsewhere if he misses any action.

The first game at newly named Guaranteed Rate Field wasn't guaranteed - it rained in Chicago, the Tigers and White Sox never got started and were washed out.

"I played over there for two years, and Joe does what Joe does", Fowler said.

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