Grichuk takes a home run away from Rizzo

April 20th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk's leaping catch robbed Anthony Rizzo of a two-run homer in the first inning of Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Cubs.

Rizzo was up with one on and two outs when he drove a Carlos Martinez pitch to left-center field. Grichuk leaped over the wall to make the catch and keep the game scoreless.

"Just getting to the wall to know where the ball is going to be is tough, but also having to jump and pull it back over is tough," Grichuk said. "It wasn't too far over, so it wasn't that bad."

Martinez was extremely appreciative of Grichuk's effort.

"It was so big that I'm going to pay him a dinner in San Diego when we get to San Diego," Martinez said through an interpreter. "I'm going to take him out and have a nice dinner."

Rizzo made sure on his next at-bat, driving the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall for a solo homer to cut the Cardinals' lead to 4-1.

Grichuk and Rizzo had a laugh about the play after Grichuk reached first in the eighth.

"He said he holds grudges, and I told him he got the second one so we're even," said Grichuk, who joked that he watched a replay of the catch 72 times during the rain delay of three hours and 21 minutes.

Martinez gave up one run in seven innings. He allowed exactly one runner to reach base in each of his first six innings, with his only clean inning coming in the seventh.

"I made an adjustment, because I saw earlier in the game that I was throwing a lot of fastballs and they were jumping right away," Martinez said. "So later in the game I was like, OK, now it's time for me to mix it up and make sure I keep the ball down and give myself a chance."

Martinez struck out five and 58 of his 97 pitches were strikes.

Grichuk's catch loomed large late in the game after Seung Hwan Oh gave up two runs in relief in the eighth inning to cut the Cardinals' lead to one run. The runs were the first given up by Oh in eight appearances this season.

Grichuk said it's the best defensive play he's ever made.

"It's the second robbed homer that I've had," Grichuk said. "Definitely being against the Cubs in a big game, it's definitely the top one."