Pederson, Rizzo, Contreras homer as Cubs beat Cardinals 8-5

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St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Arenado hits a two-run single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Friday, June 11, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – Anthony Rizzo could feel the fans hanging onto each pitch as he fouled off one after another.

When he finally launched one over the right-field wall on the 14th pitch of his at-bat, Wrigley Field rocked in a way it hadn't in years, with a near-capacity crowd on its feet and roaring.

“It was incredible,” Rizzo said.

Joc Pederson homered and drove in three runs, Rizzo and Willson Contreras went deep and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 on Friday.

Wrigley Field allowed 100% capacity for the first time since 2019 on what the Cubs called “Opening Day 2.0.” They fell behind 5-1, then treated a crowd of 35,112 to a comeback win over their NL Central rivals.

Pederson gave the Cubs a 7-5 lead in the seventh with a two-run double off the wall in right-center against Génesis Cabrera (1-2). He also singled leading off the first and homered in his second straight game when he drove one to the center-field basket against against Johan Oviedo in the fourth.

Rizzo tied it at 5-all in the sixth with his drive to right against Daniel Ponce de Leon. It came on the longest Cubs at-bat to end in with a home run since pitch count records began in 1988, and the fans erupted in delight.

He took a ball on an 0-2 pitch, then fouled off six more. He took another ball and fouled off three more before connecting on a 96.1 mph fastball.