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CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Chris Heisey did a lot of standing around before he got his chance to snap Cincinnatis historic slump. Heiseys pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning ended the Reds longest scoreless streak to open a season and sent Cincinnati to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night following a long rain delay. The Reds set a modern franchise record by failing to score in the first 17 innings of the season. Their previous worst was 13 scoreless innings in 1909 and 1934. It got broken by a player making only his second at-bat of the season. "Theres nothing like it," Heisey said. "Sit around 10 hours, then get one at-bat. Thats part of being a pinch-hitter." Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier opened the ninth with singles off Carlos Martinez (0-1). After a sacrifice, Brayan Pena was walked to load the bases and Heisey singled to centre. "Hits have been at premium these past two days," Heisey said. "Its nice to play close games early and get the blood pumping." The Reds were the last team in the majors to score a run this season. Heiseys hit broke an 0-for-11 slump with runners in scoring position and gave Bryan Price his first win as the Reds manager. "It feels great from a selfish standpoint," Price said. "From a team standpoint, its even better. It was important to get that first win and get the ball rolling." J.J. Hoover (1-0) pitched out of a threat in the ninth, getting Matt Adams on a called third strike with two runners aboard. "It all comes down to the big hit," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "When youre having trouble getting many of them, you just need the right one at the right time. They put it together when they had to." The NL Central rivals waited 2 hours, 40 minutes to get started. They wanted to get the game in because heavy rain was forecast for Thursday afternoon when they conclude their series. The Reds promoted it as opening night, complete with pregame player introductions and postgame fireworks. The introductions were cancelled because of the long delay, and the fireworks were shot off as the grounds crew removed the tarp and prepared the field for the first pitch. Neither starter had a problem because of the delay. Left-hander Tony Cingrani gave up a pair of singles and two walks in seven innings. He spent the off-season working on his secondary pitches. Last year, he threw his fastball 81.7 per cent of the time, the second-most by a starter in the majors, according to STATS LLC. Michael Wacha allowed three hits in 6 2-3 innings. He got shortstop Zack Cozart to ground into a forceout with the bases loaded in the fourth. Cozart saved a run with a diving catch in centre field in the eighth, grabbing Matt Carpenters sinking liner with a runner in scoring position. The defending National League champions opened the season with a 1-0 win on Monday, when Yadier Molinas seventh-inning homer made the difference. It was the first time since 1953 that the Reds were shut out on opening day. Its the first time in Great American Ball Parks 12-year history that theres been back-to-back 1-0 games. St. Louis hasnt started a season with back-to-back shutouts since 1963, when the Cardinals posted three consecutive shutouts. NOTES: RH Lance Lynn starts for the Cardinals on Thursday. He beat the Reds three times last season. RHP Homer Bailey, who missed time during spring training with a strained groin, starts for the Reds. ... Cardinals OF Jon Jay carries a 14-game hitting streak from last season. ... Joey Votto doubled in the first inning for his 1,000th career hit. ... Cingrani picked Adams off first base in the fifth inning. He led the Reds staff by picking off six runners last season. ... Reds manager Bryan Price said RH Jonathan Broxton could come off the DL during the series in St. Louis next week. Hes recovering from surgery on his pitching forearm last August. Broxton would become the closer until Chapman returns. ... C Devin Mesoraco also could be activated off the DL in St. Louis. Hes sidelined by a strained oblique. Billy Williams Jersey . Jagr had a goal and two assists, Andy Greene scored 43 seconds into overtime and Marek Zidlicky had two goals as the Devils rallied past the Washington Capitals 5-4 Saturday night. Ernie Banks Jersey . The group of Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov, & Slava Kozlov were a dominant force for The Wings at one point in the 90s. http://www.authenticcubsteamproshop.com ... rd-jersey/. "I only want to go through this one more time," Crosby said Friday. The 24-year-old captain hasnt played since the symptoms resurfaced following a loss to Boston on Dec. 5. Doctors allowed him to return to full practice on Tuesday and while Crosby is pleased with the way his body is responding he refuses to put on his return. Brandon Morrow Jersey . "Im proud of him," Jones said in an interview from Sacramento, site of the UFCs weekend televised card. "I think hes listening to his body and hes doing what makes him happy and thats what life is about ultimately. Cubs Jerseys . So true. It is one thing to create a winning football team, and another to keep it winning. Each and every week it changes. The NFL creates a unique interest of not who is "the best", but much more who is "the best this week".ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Tucked in the warmth on the surrounding grounds of the Big House, Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis made one point urgently clear as he announced the signing of Torontos captain through 2021. "We signed Dion to this deal because he deserved it," said Nonis on the eve of Wednesdays Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. But the success of the seven-year extension between the Leafs and Dion Phaneuf wont just be about the 28-year-old defender, but the ability of Nonis and the organization to surround him and the Toronto core with capable talent. Right now that core includes at least six players; Phaneuf along with Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, David Clarkson and Tyler Bozak – all signed until at least 2017. And while that group must remain productive – and increasingly so from a generally disappointing first half – the overall team success is likely dependent on the quality of talent the club adds in the coming years. "Weve added these pieces because we think that they can help us win long-term," said Nonis of that core group. "Its now going to be up to us to add players around them. We feel we have some pieces coming, but were not where we need to be yet. We still need to add some pieces around players like Dion and Phil and [Lupul], JVR. Those are players that will help any team in this league win, but we need to continue to add to that group." No team has done a more efficient job of surrounding their impressive core than the Chicago Blackhawks (though the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins could make equal argument). "I think theyre a model for the league, not just our hockey club," Randy Carlyle said of the defending Stanley Cup champions earlier this season. Chicagos core is among the more dynamic in the league – much of it built through the draft – but the organization has done well in surrounding that group with wave upon wave of helpful young players and outside talent. In recent years, the likes of Andrew Shaw (fifth round pick), Marcus Kruger (fifth round), Bryan Bickell (second round), Corey Crawford (second round) and Brandon Saad (second round) all proved invaluable toward the Blackhawks capturing their second Cup in four years last season. For the Leafs that means improved drafting and development. It means finding more capable assets through the draft, ever an important tool in todays cap age. "Theres still only three ways to do [build around the core] – trade, free agency or the draft," said Nonis. "We have to do a better job in all three areas. But the draft is going to be more and more important as players start to earn six, seven, eight, nine, 10 million – who knows what the numbers are going to end up being. "If you have players that are entry-level players or just coming out of entry-level that are earning substantially less that can contribute youre going to have a better chance of winning. We need to try to find some of those players." Not only does that mean the continued development of young players like Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Peter Holland and Jonathan Bernier, but success here and there from a solid and yet unspectacular prospectt pool that features Matt Finn, Connor Brown, Petter Granberg, Dominic Toninato, and Josh Leivo.dddddddddddd It also means finding more useful players to contribute right now. Chicago found help for example in the form of veterans like Johhny Oduya and Michal Handzus. Uneven all season, Torontos patchwork defence – which featured no major additions last summer – is a source requiring definite upgrading in the summer of 2014 and beyond. As for Phaneuf, he may be an imperfect first defender, but is a capable first defender no less in a league where commodities of such kind are difficult to find and then keep. More and more teams are locking up their most talented players long-term leaving the free agency pool increasingly weak and short of high-impact options, especially on defence. Among the top unsigned defenders for the summer of 2014 are 37-year-old Dan Boyle, 35-year-old Andrei Markov, and 29-year-old Dan Girardi. Internally, the Leafs have promising long-term options for the top of their defence in the 19-year-old Rielly and 23-year-old Gardiner, but neither is near ready to assume the difficult duties Phaneuf holds at the moment. And while the likes of Finn, Granberg, Stuart Percy, and Tom Nilsson offer prospective hope further on down the line, they are suitably unknown commodities. "If youre signing players because you dont have anyone to replace them youre making mistakes," said Nonis. "Hes going to play at this level and beyond, I feel, for seven years and maybe beyond that. Its not that you dont have anyone to replace Dion, its that hes done enough to prove to us that he is a player that is near the top of the league in terms of how he stacks up against the top defencemen." The difficulty of his minutes is easy to overlook. His role on a generally unstable Toronto defence requires him to match up nightly against the most difficult competition in the league. In Wednesdays Winter Classic for example, that tall challenge will include large quantities of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. "I dont think you can look beyond the situations and positions that Randy puts him in," said Nonis. "Theyre not always the best situations. He plays some pretty tough minutes." In fact, no defender in the league has faced more challenging competition in the past two seasons than the Leafs captain, this according to ExtraSkater.com. And though hes struggled to produce offence this season – 15 points in 39 games – Phaneuf has ranked amongst the top-20 at his position in offensive production in each of the past two seasons. The Leafs were in a surprise in 2013, finishing fifth in the conference while nearly upending the eventual Cup finalist Bruins in the first round. But theyve fallen under considerable strain this season – just four regulation wins since Nov. 1 – and have proven a poor defensive contingent again after struggling in that regard a year ago. Phaneuf is more solution than problem. The Leafs simply need better players around him. "You see some of the best players around the league," said Nonis, "if you put them on a team by themselves theyre going to have a hard time winning. We think were adding pieces that will help us win." 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