ST. LOUIS – The Toronto Blue Jays outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals in a back-in-forth Opening Day marathon. Nolan Arenado sparked a late comeback attempt with a two-run, eighth inning double, before the Blue Jays spoiled Opening Day with a two-run rally in the ninth.

After five lead changes, 12 pitcher swaps and 30-plus hits between both teams, the Blue Jays come out on top by a score of 10-9.

The game was one of few to hit the three-hour mark on Opening Day across Major League Baseball on the first day of pace-of-play rules, leading to many spring games finishing around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

A few key moments:

  • After two innings: The Blue Jays jumped out to a 4-1 lead, with Daulton Varsho and Alejandro Kirk both driving in two in the early surge.
  • Third inning: Tyler O’Neill blasts the Cardinals’ first home run of the year, cutting the deficit to 4-3. It’s his fourth straight Opening Day with a home run, tying an MLB record
  • Fourth inning: Brendan Donovan follows up with a two-run blast, tying the game at five runs apiece after the Blue Jays added on in the top half of the frame.
  • Sixth inning: Reigning MVP Paul Goldschmidt gives the Cardinals their first lead of the day with a two-out single, a brief 6-5 edge.
  • Seventh inning: Blue Jays tie it up again, though Jordan Walker moves the Cardinals ahead once more with a bases-loaded groundout. Cardinals again led briefly, 7-6.
  • Top eighth inning: Blue Jays spark a rally quickly against Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks, and young star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. delivers the go-ahead blow. Toronto took an 8-7 lead, and Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras left the game after taking a wild pitch to his knee.
  • Bottom eighth: Nolan Arenado scores Lars Nootbaar and Paul Goldschmidt on a go-ahead double. Cardinals briefly lead 9-8.
  • Top ninth: First three Blue Jays reach base to give Cardinals trouble. George Springer lifted a bloop single just past Tommy Edman to tie it. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had the go-ahead sacrifice and Toronto held onto the lead from there.

The Cardinals and Blue Jays return to Busch Stadium on Saturday for their second games of the 2022 season. Jack Flaherty will take the mound for the Cardinals.