WORLD SERIES: Red Sox Rout Error-Prone Cardinals, Win Game 1

By Adam Jakubiak

BU News Service

Coming into Game 1 of the 2013 World Series, many felt the Boston Red Sox would need more offensive production in the early innings in order to give themselves a chance to win against a tough St. Louis Cardinals squad. On a chilly late October night at Fenway, it didn’t take long for the Red Sox to get rolling.

Combined with an overturned call and sloppy St. Louis defense, Boston’s offense got just what it needed to draw first blood in the annual Fall Classic, and the American League champion Red Sox cruised past the Cardinals 8-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Boston had struggled to score runs early in the previous round against Detroit, but tonight was the exact opposite. With runners first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, David Ortiz grounded into what had a chance to be an inning-ending double play for St. Louis. Cardinals’ second baseman Matt Carpenter made a backhanded flip to shortstop Pete Kozma, but the ball bounced off his glove and fell to the ground.

Controversy then ensued as second base umpire Dave DeMuth called Dustin Pedroia, the runner from first, out at second on a force. Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue, and following a discussion with the other umpires, Pedroia was ruled safe at second. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny argued the reversal to no avail, but the correct call was made in the end.

Following the ruling, Mike Napoli blasted a bases clearing double to the left-center game, and the Red Sox were off to a fast 3-0 lead, sending the Fenway faithful into a frenzy.

The rough start for the Cardinals didn’t stop there. In the very next inning, another error by the usually defensively-sound Kozma allowed the Red Sox to load the bases with one out. Pedroia promptly singled to left to make it 4-0, bringing Ortiz to the plate. In what could be a defining moment in this series, Ortiz hit a long fly ball to deep right, but was robbed of his second grand slam this postseason by right fielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran, playing in his first World Series game in his 16-year career, suffered a right rib contusion on the play and was removed from the game the following inning. He was taken to a local hospital for further treatment. Boston got a sacrifice fly out of Ortiz’s long hit, and it was suddenly 5-0 in favor of the home team. There is no timetable for Beltran’s return, and losing him for any amount of time would be a serious blow as the Cardinals go for their second World Series title in three years.

Ortiz was finally able to get one out of the yard in the 7th inning, when he hit a 2-run blast off pitcher Kevin Siegrist. It was the first homerun Siegrist allowed against a left-handed hitter all season. Xander Bogaerts hit a sacrifice fly in the 8th to round out the scoring for Boston.

The lone run of the night for St. Louis came in the top of the 9th, when slugger Matt Holliday belted a Ryan Dempster pitch over the Green Monster in left-center field, spoiling the shutout.

Starting pitcher Jon Lester was brilliant for Boston. With strong command and only getting into a couple of jams the entire night, the left-hander threw 7 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and one walk, while striking out eight. Lester has given up two earned runs or less in each of his four postseason starts.

Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright didn’t receive much help from his defense behind him, as the two errors by Kozma proved to be costly. He gave up six runs in five innings, but only three of the runs were earned. He walked one and struck out four.

John Lackey will take the mound for Boston in Game 2 on Thursday night. He last appeared in Game 3 against Detroit in the ALCS, where he had a masterful performance in shutting down a vaunted Tigers offense over 6 2/3 innings. Michael Wacha will look to tie the series for the Cardinals. The rookie sensation has given up just one earned run in three postseason starts.

Game time is once again set for 8:07 p.m.

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