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World Series 2013

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While the road to Red Sox deliverance from baseball’s most pathetic joke in 2012 to its most joyous resurrection in 2013 figures to lead to a wicked celebration in the coming hours, it seems worth pointing out that the road has been paved by a number of individual stories of redemption.

John Lackey, the World Series Game 6 starter Wednesday night, immediately comes to mind.

Yet in a different light, so does David Ortiz.

Twenty-four months, 18 months, even a year ago, Lackey was as welcome in Boston as head lice. He was a sore loser. Worse, he was a loser. He had a facial contortion for every misplay in the field, everything that went awry. The $82.5 million showered on Lackey in December 2009 was seen as money horribly spent. About the only thing that stopped Lackey from being surgically removed from the Red Sox like Josh Beckett and others was the Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Twenty-four, 18 months, a year later, John Lackey is as welcome in Boston as Tom Brady. More than a few talk-show jockeys have cobbled various forms of apologies and the radio waves have been clogged with callers revising their Lackey history. Some of it was Lackey’s fault, of course, especially the on-field reaction, the off-field irritability. Some of the circumstances surrounding his divorce won him no admirers. Yet the fact is, Lackey was hurt. And when he got healthy, he turned in a full season of consistent starts and congeniality.

By the time the World Series rolled around there, he was in Game 4 ready, willing and able to come out of the bullpen, throw a scoreless inning of relief after starting in Game 2, immediately resetting himself for what could be the second World Series-clinching start of his career and the first clinched by the Sox at Fenway Park since Sept. 11, 1918.

“It would be awesome,” said Lackey, who won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as a rookie for the Angels.

At the risk of sounding trite, the most miserable man in the world has taken that frown and turned it upside down. There are refreshing stories up and down the Red Sox lineup, guys likeDavid RossShane Victorino and Jonny Gomes who have come from other teams and destroyed every notion that team chemistry doesn’t matter. There are the old reliables like Dustin Pedroiaand the young bucks like Xander Bogaerts. Yet in some way, nobody represents the 2012 glum gone 2013 plum like John Lackey.

“Everything in my life pretty much sucks right now,” Lackey said at one point in 2011.

“Everything in my life pretty much is awesome,” Lackey figures to say tonight.

Lackey has shown precious little of that nagging tetchiness of his previous years in Boston. His barbs are now delivered with a smile, not a sledgehammer. Even when the bait was thrown his way Tuesday at Fenway Park, when asked about the experts picking the Red Sox for last place again this year, Lackey did nothing but evoke a laugh.

“These days the word ‘expert’ gets thrown out way too much,” Lackey said. “We’re all experts. We had a great group of guys, great chemistry, you could feel from the start, had a lot of guys with some rings, have been on playoff teams. Our expectations were high.”

Nobody’s expectations are higher than Big Papi’s, and the higher they rise the more he has exceeded them. In a series where both lineups are begging for hits, Ortiz is hitting a beer-league softball 11-for-15. His OPS is 2.017, which, oh, p.s., is ridiculous. And just for good measure, he went Pacino in “Any Given Sunday” with a rousing dugout speech in Game 4.

“It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at the teacher,” Gomes said.

“We weren’t the Red Sox,” Daniel Nava said. “We were the Boston Ortizes.”

“The epitome of a superstar and a good teammate,” Jon Lester said.

“That’s why we call him ‘Cooperstown,'” David Ross said.

Those are powerful words from teammates.

Ortiz needs no redemption, really, from Red Sox fans. They all love him, most unconditionally. Ortiz’s deliverance is a little more complex and outlying than Lackey’s. It involves not only the Hall of Fame-voting members of the BBWAA but also the national baseball dialogue on performance-enhancing drugs that has dragged on for years.

Maybe it’s Ortiz’s absolute joy for the game. Maybe it’s the joy Ortiz brings to those who watch him play. There is something transcendent about the man, transcendent enough to alter arguments.

When it comes to Cooperstown, a player’s performance in the postseason should count plenty and for me, as a voter, it probably counts more than others. It counts for Jack Morris. It counts for Curt Schilling. It should count for Ortiz.

Ortiz has played more than 85 percent of his games as the DH and that will be held against him even as he comes closer to hitting 500 home runs. Should DH be a consideration? Absolutely. Yet the DH issue is something the game’s gatekeepers ultimately must solve. Frank Thomas, who played more than half his career at DH, is going to roar into Cooperstown. This should lead to some re-evaluation of Edgar Martinez. And watching Ortiz play the field in the World Series, it is a reminder that some fairly shoddy fielding first basemen, third basemen and left fielders have long been enshrined in Cooperstown.

Yet the redemptive story of Ortiz really has nothing to do with the DH. You know it. I know it. It’s about The New York Times report that Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 in what was supposed to be an anonymous and confidential survey test.

“I never buy steroids or use steroids,” Ortiz said in a Yankee Stadium press conference in 2009. He said he was careless about the vitamins and supplements he bought in the Dominican Republic. As I sat there that day listening to him did I believe Ortiz?

Not entirely.

Did I want to believe Ortiz?


The road to PED forgiveness is made easier for those who give a heartfelt apology. The road to Cooperstown is not necessarily easier. It still depends on the voter’s convictions.

Some say let them all in.

Some say let none of them in.

One seems immoral. One seems unnecessarily punitive, especially since we deal with so many unknowns. I admit. I don’t pretend to have the answer. We don’t even know what Ortiz used.

In a compelling piece, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! argued, among other things, that it is unfair to penalize players outed because their suppliers were caught by authorities and forced to give details to MLB. How many others got away in the process?

Much of the PED use also was before baseball’s ever-evolving drug policy brought down the hammer. The circumstances and the evidence are all over the place. The fact is, David Ortiz has tested negative ever since 2004.

For those who always loved and hugged Big Papi he was and always will be innocent. He is capable of doing no wrong. Yet the great road to Red Sox redemption has done more than make a jolly fellow out of John Lackey. The great joy of David Ortiz this October has opened the minds of many to reconsider the standards for Cooperstown immortality. I can feel it.

By Jeff Jacobs, Hartford Courant.

Meet Paul Pagano, aka Father Time, the oldest fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

HC-RedSoxGame4968Video report by Alison Morris, Fox CT

Text by Paul Doyle, The Hartford Courant

ST. LOUIS — When Sunday began, the mood in the Red Sox clubhouse was somber as players were attempting to process a startling loss.

As Sunday was ending, the Red Sox were bouncing and cheering on the field as they celebrated a victory at Busch Stadium.

Just as they’ve done for the past seven months, the band of bearded ballplayers turned their backs on yesterday and turned their focus to the task in front of them. The Red Sox rode a three-run home run by Jonny Gomes and weaved together 27 outs to even the World Series with a 4-2 victory in Game 4 Sunday night.

Aces Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright face off in Game 5 Monday night. Boston’s victory guarantees the series will return to Fenway Park for Game 6 on Wednesday.

The Red Sox got three hits from David Ortiz, who is 8-for-11 in the series. In 12 career World Series games, Ortiz is 17-for-39 with 10 walks and four strikeouts.

Starter Clay Buchholz, pitching with a weak right shoulder, allowed one run in four innings before Felix Doubront pitched 2 2/3 innings. Craig Breslow yielded an RBI single on a run charged to Doubront in the seventh, but Junichi Tazawa completed the inning and starter John Lackey came out of the bullpen for a scoreless eighth.

Koji Uehara threw a scoreless ninth to complete the victory. And it ended unconventionally, as Uehara picked off pinch runner Kolten Wong with Carlos Beltran — St. Louis’ best hitter — at the plate.

The pickoff ending came about 24 hours after an obstruction call against third baseman Will Middlebrooks allowed Allen Craig to score the winning run.

After struggling to mount an attack against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, the Red Sox broke through and took the lead in the sixth. The two-out rally began with a single by Dustin Pedroia, before Ortiz walked on four pitches.

Seth Maness replaced Lynn and ran the count to 2-and-2 against Gomes. The next pitch was sent over the left field fence for a three-run homer.

Suddenly, the Busch Stadium-record crowd of 47,469 sat in stunned silence as Gomes circled the bases and players bounced to the edge of the Red Sox dugout. Gomes was a late addition to the lineup after Shane Victorino felt tightness in his lower back, yet he delivered a vital hit for a team in need of a jolt.

Coming off a potentially devastating loss in Game 3, the Red Sox resiliency was seemingly tested before they took the field Sunday. Jon Lester, the Game 5 starter Monday, said he didn’t hear any teammates mention the walk-off obstruction play loss and that the focus had already shifted.

Manager John Farrell has talked all season about his team’s ability to put losses it and focus on the next game. Of course, the loss Saturday was unlike any loss they’re experienced all season.

“The one thing that’s been a strong characteristic of this team and the leadership within our club is the ability to put yesterday behind us, good, bad, indifferent,” Farrell said before Game 4. “Once we get on the field and begin our work and the routines that will come out of our BP and the first pitch thrown, our focus and intent is clearly on [Sunday]. We can’t go back to [Saturday].”

The cloud hanging over the team’s ability to forge ahead, of course, was the status of Buchholz. The team’s best starter for the first two months of the season has been experiencing fatigue in his shoulder, the result of missing three months during the season.

He allowed seven earned runs in 10 2/3 innings during the American League Championship Series, and his Game 4 start was considered questionable as the Red Sox brass pondered their options. The team had starter Ryan Dempster in the bullpen ready for a long relief stint and even Game 2 starter John Lackey — on track to start Game 6, if necessary — was in the bullpen.

As it turned out, Buchholz managed to scratch out four innings and left the game with scored tied, 1-1. His fastball never exceeded 90 mph, and it was often in the 87 mph to 89 mph range.

But while his command wasn’t great, Buchholz allowed just one unearned run on three hits and three walks while recording 12 outs. The lone run came in the third, when Matt Carpenter hit a one-out single to center that was bobbled by Jacoby Ellsbury, allowing the runner to take second.

It was Boston’s sixth error of the series. The team has at least one error in every World Series game.

Carpenter scored when Carlos Beltran singled to right-center. But Buchholz retired Matt Holliday and Matt Adams on fly balls, ending the threat.

His other difficult inning was the fourth. Jon Jay walked with one out before David Freese reached on a fielder’s choice — shortstop Stephen Drew fielded a weak grounder and flipped the ball from his glove to Pedroia at second.

Freese advanced on a wild pitch, so the Red Sox intentionally walked Daniel Descalso and pitcher Lynn flied to right to end the inning.

Buchholz was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth, when the Red Sox pushed the tying run across the plate. After managing one hit through four innings, the Red Sox got a leadoff double from Ortiz off Lynn in the fifth.

Gomes and Bogaerts each walked — for Bogaerts, the seventh walk in 26th postseason plate appearance — before Drew delivered a run with a sacrifice fly to left. Drew, stepping into the batter’s box with the bases loaded, had been 4-for-45.

Video reports by Alison Morris and Rich Coppola, Fox CT

Text by Paul Doyle, The Hartford Courant

ST. LOUIS — They climbed back from two deficits, tying the game against a pair of young pitchers who were untouchable two nights earlier.

In perhaps the most important game of fall, the Red Sox went toe-to-toe with the Cardinals for nine innings. But in a bizarre ending, the game unraveled for the Red Sox and the Cardinals completed a 5-4 victory.

The winning run scored when third baseman Will Middlebrooks was called for interfering with baserunner Allen Craig, who had doubled off Koji Uehara. With Craig on second and Yadier Molina on third, Jon Jay hit a grounder to second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia threw home to get Molina and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw to third as Craig attempted to take the base. The throw sailed past Middlebrooks as Craig slid into the base. When Craig attempted to get up and run, Middlebrooks — sprawled on the ground — raised his legs to block Craig.

The throw to the plate from left fielder Daniel Nava beat Craig, but umpires ruled interference and the game was over.

The Cardinals lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday night, with Clay Buchholz starting for the Red Sox despite dealing with shoulder fatigue.

It was a 2-2 game when the Cardinals rallied in the seventh. After resisting calls to bench the slumping Stephen Drew, manager John Farrell pinch-hit for the shortstop in the sixth. In the seventh, Xander Bogaerts moved from third to short and Will Middlebrook took over at third — seemingly weakening the team defensively at two positions.

And sure enough, Matt Carpenter led the seventh by reaching on an infield single. His bouncer off Craig Breslow was charged by Bogaerts, but the throw was wide and David Ortiz couldn’t handle the ball. Still, Carpenter would have beaten the throw on a play that Drew may have converted.

Next, Breslow hit Carlos Beltran with a pitch and the Yale graduate was finished. It was his second shaky outing of the series.

Junichi Tazawa’s third pitch was drilled under third baseman Middlebrook’s glove for a two-run double. It was a play Bogaerts would probably have made at third, but Middlebrooks couldn’t knock the ball down.

Tazawa struck out Matt Adams and Yadier Molina before walking David Freese. He retired Jon Jay on a fly ball to end the inning.

With eight outs left, it looked bleak for the Red Sox. They were overwhelmed by Cardinals’ hard-throwing relievers Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal in Game 2, so they faced a difficult task.

Martinez, though, did not have the same command. He allowed a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury before Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch for the seventh time in the postseason. With the runners in motion on a 3-and-2 pitch, Pedroia grounded to short and the runners advanced.

David Ortiz was intentionally walked to load the bases before Rosenthal replaced Martinez. A run scored when Nava hit a hard one-hopper to second baseman Kolten Wong, who gathered the ball and threw to second for the force.

Next, Bogaerts hit a 1-and-1 pitch to center field for a single that delivering the tying run.

Rosenthal retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the eighth and set the Red Sox down in order in the ninth.


One Boston begged her way into Game 1 of the World Series. Would she be so lucky for Game 2?

BOSTON — John Farrell has handed the ball to Craig Breslow seven times in October, and the result was always the same.

The Yale graduate and son of Trumbull was a postseason star as the Red Sox marched to the World Series. He allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings, standing as a vital cog in a bullpen that’s been the team’s greatest strength.

So when he took over with a one-run lead in Game 2 of the World Series, there was a sense of security at Fenway Park. In a matter of minutes, the feeling evaporated and Breslow was retreating to the dugout with his head down.

There was a walk, a sacrifice fly, two errors and a single. The lead turned into a deficit and the tide of the series shifted.

Read more of Paul Doyle’s story from the Hartford Courant here.

Video reports by Alison Morris, Fox CT

Text by Paul Doyle, The Hartford Courant

BOSTON — Each game throughout October, the Red Sox have waltzed into late innings with the feeling that somehow things would fall into place.

And most nights, it did. Manager John Farrell has handed the ball to one reliever or another and rallies were extinguished before the offense would awaken.

So when Craig Breslow took the mound with two on and one out in the seventh, virtually everyone in Fenway Park expected the pride of Trumbull and Yale to preserve a one-run lead. But in a matter of minutes, the game slipped away.

There was a walk, a sacrifice fly, an error and a single. Just like that, the Red Sox were trailing and Breslow was walking to the dugout.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals bullpen stifled the Red Sox and Game 2 of the World Series slipped away. After dropping the first game of the series, the Cardinals earned 4-2 victory and are going home with the series even.

Game 3 is Saturday night at Busch Stadium and the Cardinals return with wind in their sails.

The Red Sox had a 2-1 lead on a David Ortiz homer off phenom Michael Wacha. But John Lackey put two runners on base in the seventh, turning it over to Breslow.

Breslow entered with a streak of 18 scoreless appearances and has been flawless in the postseason. But the allowed the tying run to score on a sacrifice fly, as a throw from left fielder Jonny Gomes skipped past catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Breslow, backing up the plate, grabbed the ball and threw to third as a runner took the extra base. His wild throw wound up in the stands and the lead run scored.

Next, Breslow allowed a run-scoring single to Carlos Beltran to give the Cardinals an insurance run. Not that they needed it. Carlos Martinez struck out three over two innings and closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth.

Alison Morris captures some of the fesitivies prior to Game 1 at Fenway Park.

Text by Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant; video by Tim Lammers, Fox CT

BOSTON — Michael Wacha was wearing a Texas A&M baseball uniform as recently as 16 months ago.

He ended his college career on June 1, 2012, with a 119-pitch, 7 1/3 inning outing in a victory over Dayton in the NCAA Regionals. Three days later, he was selected by the Cardinals with the 19th overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

On Thursday night, he’ll be standing on the mound at Fenway Park as the starting pitcher in Game 2 of the World Series. It has been a meteoric rise for the pitcher selected with the compensation draft pick that St. Louis received for losing Albert Pujols to the Angels in free agency.

“I’m just trying not to think too much about it, just trying to approach every game the same,” Wacha said Wednesday. “Trying not to get too caught up in the moment. I’m sure after the season I’ll be able to look back and think about, ‘Hey, I pitched in the World Series’ and that kind of stuff. So, you know, right now just trying to get focused on the next start coming up [Thursday] and just go from there.”

Wacha was 5-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Memphis this year. He earned a promotion to the major leagues and settled into the Cardinals rotation, going 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 15 games, including nine starts.

In his last regular season start, Wacha carried a no-hitter into the ninth against the Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman’s two-out infield hit ended the bid.

In the postseason, the legend of Wacha has grown. He was 3-0, 0.43 ERA in three starts — one against the Pirates in the Division Series, two against the Dodgers in the Championship Series — and he earned MVP of the NLCS.

His numbers against the Dodgers: 13 2/3 innings, no runs, 13 strikeouts. It was a life-changing run.

“It was pretty much the same until after this last start in the NLCS,” Wacha said. “But, yeah, I went to go eat at a little restaurant and I had a milkshake named after me, and that was pretty weird. So I had to try that out; it was pretty good.”

The “Wacha Wacha” shake at Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium featured Cracker Jack, caramel and white chocolate.

The sudden notoriety could be too much to handle for a 22-year-old, but Wacha is unfazed. On and off the mound, he carried himself with maturity.

“Michael understands himself,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He understands his stuff. And we talked about this a lot yesterday, about how our veterans have created an atmosphere where young guys can come in and just do what they’ve been doing, and not trying to do anything above what they’re capable of. And Michael’s done a nice job of buying into that philosophy.”

Sox Roster Won’t Change

The Red Sox made no changes to their 25-man roster. There had been speculation that lefthander Matt Thornton could be added, perhaps in place of lefthander Franklin Morales (two hits, one walk in one inning in the ALCS). Thornton threw off the mound during Tuesday’s workout.

Clay Buchholz’s health was also considered a concern, but manager John Farrell insists that Buchholz will start either Game 3 or Game 4 in St. Louis. Jake Peavy will start the other game.

Farrell penciled in David Ross at catcher for Game 1 and Jonny Gomes started in left field, leaving Daniel Nava on the bench. Nava could see the field in St. Louis this weekend.

“With more ground to cover in St. Louis, that will be something that will be factored in with the lineup over there, in addition to the righthanders we’ll face there,” Farrell said. “At the same time Daniel Nava, as we sat down and talked a couple of times and given my thoughts and rationale behind some of the decisions, he’s on board and very much a team player. He admits and recognizes to his credit that this is about us as a team and not an individual.”

Bogaerts Gets Nod

Xander Bogaerts was again in the starting lineup at third base. The 21-year-old Bogaerts (3-for-6 with three walks in the ALCS) became the youngest player to appear in a World Series game since 20-year-old Miguel Cabrera played in the 2003 World Series for the Florida Marlins. “He’s not a typical 21-year-old,” Farrell said. “We’ve talked a lot about the poise, the presence, the composure in which he plays. Even in the tightest moments, the smile never seems to leave his face. He might be flying on the inside, but externally there’s no outward anxious moments.” … The ceremonial first pitch was tossed by Carl Yastrzemski, who was recently honored with a statue outside Fenway Park. … The Red Sox completed a trade on the day of Game 1. Triple A outfielder Jeremy Hazelbacker was sent to the Dodgers with cash for outfielder Alex Castellanos, who played eight games with Los Angeles and had 19 home runs and 19 stolen bases for Triple-A Albuquerque.


Red Sox Overwhelm Cardinals 8-1 For Game 1 Victory

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.

The Red Sox and Cardinals were presented as identically sound rosters, two squads with deep pitching and relentless lineups. This series, we were told, would be a seven-game classic.

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.

St. Louis’ only run came in the ninth, on a home run by Matt Holliday off Ryan Dempster.

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.

Jonny Gomes grounded to first and the inning ended when Xander Bogaerts struck out.

But Lester, who allowed a first-inning single, returned to the mound with a cushion. And he pitched with confidence, striking out Yadier Molina and David Freese before Matt Adams grounded to second.

In the bottom of the second, Stephen Drew led with a weak pop that inexplicably landed between Wainwright and catcher Molina. David Ross lined a single to center, but Ellsbury flied to left.

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.