WORLD SERIES GAME 2: Fortunes Reversed As Cardinals Tie Up Series

By Adam Jakubiak
Boston University News Service

After being routed in Game 1, the St. Louis Cardinals could only look at their sloppy defensive play as a key reason they got off to a rough start in the 2013 World Series. But in Game 2, their fortunes were about to be reversed.

Trailing by a run in the top of the 7th inning at a hostile Fenway Park, the Cardinals took advantage of two Red Sox errors on one play, which proved to be the difference maker in propelling St. Louis to a 4-2 triumph over Boston in Game 2 of the World Series. The best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1 as the Fall Classic shifts to St. Louis for the next three games, beginning on Saturday.

With the bases loaded and one out for St. Louis in the top half of the 7th inning, Matt Carpenter lifted a fly ball to left field, which set off a disastrous chain of events for the Red Sox. Jonny Gomes made the catch for the out, but his throw to the plate couldn’t be scooped up by the catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the ball sneaked behind him, allowing pinch-runner Pete Kozma to score. Craig Breslow, the pitcher, collected the ball and tried to throw out Jon Jay at third base, but his throw went over the head of Xander Bogaerts and into the stands. Jay then trotted home and Carpenter ended up at third base.

The wild sequence turned a 2-1 Boston lead into a 3-2 St. Louis advantage as a stunned crowd of 38,436 looked on. The next batter, Carlos Beltran, ripped a single into right to score Carpenter and give the Cardinals a much-needed insurance run. Beltran was 2-for-4 on a night where he was a game-time decision after suffering a right rib contusion in Game 1.

It was a break St. Louis desperately needed in the late innings as they faced the prospect of going back to St. Louis down 0-2 against a surging Red Sox team. Rookie phenom Michael Wacka pitched another sensational game in October, but Boston was finally able to get to him in the bottom of the 6th when David Ortiz blasted his second 2-run homerun of the series to give Boston the lead. Thanks to Boston’s two errors in the next inning, Wacka was able to earn his third victory of the postseason as he went six innings and struck out six batters.

The St. Louis bullpen was magnificent as well. Carlos Martinez threw two scoreless innings, striking out three, and rookie closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to collect the save with fastballs approaching 100 miles per hour in speed. In total, Cardinals pitching allowed just four Boston hits.

John Lackey pitched well for Boston despite taking the loss. Appearing in his first World Series game since his rookie season in 2002 with the Angels, he went 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six. After giving up an earned run in the 4th inning, two more runs were charged to him when Breslow couldn’t get out of the jam in the seventh. The Cardinals scored their initial run when Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to score Matt Holliday, who led off the fourth with a triple.

It was the first time since 1986 that the Red Sox had lost a World Series game, ending their streak of nine wins in a row. When the Red Sox and Cardinals squared off in the 2004 World Series, St. Louis never held a lead at any point as Boston earned a series sweep.

The Red Sox have been in this situation very recently, when they were tied going to Detroit for three games in the ALCS. Boston managed to take two out of three games in the Motor City, before clinching the pennant in Game 6 at Fenway.

It will be difficult, however. Busch Stadium is an incredibly tough place to play in the postseason, and now the Red Sox will have to get accustomed to having a pitcher in the starting lineup, something that American League teams have struggled with in previous World Series. Because of the lineup change, Boston may be forced to remove Ortiz or slugger Mike Napoli from the lineup.

Game 3 will be Saturday night in St. Louis at 8:07 p.m.

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