By Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
BOSTON — Deep analysis from baseball authorities concluded that the 2013 World Series would be a lengthy, well-played duel between two evenly matched teams.
After one game, toss out the forecasts.
The Red Sox jumped on Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright early Wednesday night and Jon Lesterwas masterful in his second career World Series start, fueling an 8-1 victory before a joyous 38,345 at Fenway Park. The Red Sox send veteran John Lackey to the mound for Game 2 Thursday, with the Cardinals pinning their hopes to rookie sensation Michael Wacha.
The Red Sox scratched out victories against elite Detroit Tigers starters in the American League Championship Series, but there was no need for late-inning rallies against St. Louis. Boston scored three in the first and two in the second against Wainwright, a 19-game winner this season. Mike Napoli ignited the offense with a three-run double in the first, placing the Cardinals in an early hole.
The Red Sox also got three RBI from David Ortiz, who was 2-for-22 — including a series-changing grand slam — against the Tigers in the ALCS. Ortiz was robbed of a grand slam byCarlos Beltran in the second inning, settling for a sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, Ortiz slammed a two-run homer deep over the right field fence. It was his 16th career postseason home run, and he has 57 RBI in 77 career games.
By Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant.Red Sox Overwhelm Cardinals 8-1 For Game 1 Victory
Lester made his first World Series start since 2007 and he picked up where he left off six years ago. Staked to the early lead, he never gave the Cardinals a hint of life as he breezed through one inning after another.
He left with two out in the eighth, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out eight. In two World Series starts, he has thrown 13 ⅓ scoreless innings while allowing eight hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts.
The Cardinals committed three errors and misplayed two other balls. They also lost right fielder Beltran, who left after bruising his right rib when he hit the wall while catching the fly by Ortiz. Beltran was taken to a hospital for an examination.
The Red Sox have now won nine World Series games in a row. They swept the Cardinals in 2004 and swept the Rockies in 2007.
The first dose of World Series drama unfolded about 20 minutes after the first pitch. Jacoby Ellsbury began with a seven-pitch walk before Shane Victorino lined to left. Dustin Pedroiasingled to center, pushing Ellsbury to second.
Ortiz then hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Matt Carpenter, who tossed to shortstopPete Kozma at second. The ball bounced off Kozma’s glove, but second base umpire Dana DeMuth called Pedroia out.
Replays showed that Kozma never had possession of the ball and Red Sox manager John Farrell vehemently argued. The crew of umpires conferred and the call was overturned, which brought Cardinals manager Mike Matheny out of the dugout.
When play resumed, the Red Sox had the bases loaded for Napoli. After taking two balls from Wainwright, Napoli cleared the bases with a double to left-center field.
Just like that, the Red Sox led 3-0. Wainwright, the St. Louis ace, was 20 pitches into his outing and his team was in a three-run hole.
More defensive follies loaded the bases, as Victorino reached on an error by the reputedly sure-handed Kozma. Pedroia delivered a run with a single to left, and the bases remained loaded.
Next up, Ortiz lifted a 1-and-2 pitch to deep right field in a bid for his second grand slam of the postseason. Beltran scampered back to the Cardinals’ bullpen and snared the ball as it sailed over the fence. A run scored on the sacrifice fly, and Beltran hit the wall as he made the catch.
The catch saved three runs, but was costly. Beltran had to leave the game because of his bruised rib.
Beltran was playing in the first World Series game of his 16-year career. He is one of the great postseason players in baseball history, with 16 homers, a .337 average and .449 on-base percentage in 45 games.
With Beltran removed from the lineup, the Cardinals offered little fight against Lester. He retired seven in a row before Jon Jay led off the fourth with a walk. Holliday struck out, but Allen Craig and Molina followed with consecutive singles to load the bases.
The rally evaporated quickly when Freese tapped a grounder back to Lester, who threw home to start a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Wainwright settled into a groove, retiring eight in a row that included three strikeouts. Ortiz singled in the fifth, but the Red Sox were unable to mount a rally.
After throwing 95 pitches through five, Wainwright was finished.