Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 3, Red Sox 2
By Rob Rains, Special to ESPNBoston.com
ST. LOUIS -- The starting nine who took the field for the Red Sox Tuesday night was far different than the team that last appeared in St. Louis for Game 5 of the World Series last October. Of the 25 players active for the game, only 11 played in the World Series 10 months ago.
One other difference between the World Series and Tuesday night was that the Cardinals were able to get David Ortiz out.
En route to winning MVP honors in the Series last October, Ortiz wore out the Cardinals with 11 hits in 16 at-bats, and also walked eight times and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
On Tuesday night, he went 0-for-4 with a pair of fly outs and a ground out before striking out in the eighth inning, when Pat Neshek struck out the side.
One other difference between the last Red Sox visit and this one: The Cardinals won.
St. Louis broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth with consecutive two-out hits by former Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Oscar Taveras and Jon Jay off Junichi Tazawa to hand the Red Sox their third consecutive defeat, 3-2.
Five players in the Red Sox starting lineup Tuesday night played in the World Series -- David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava, Xander Bogaerts and Middlebrooks. The only other position player still on the roster is Mike Napoli.
The only pitchers left on the team from last October are Clay Buchholz, Brandon Workman, Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa.
Intentional walk aids Sox: En route to winning the Series, the Red Sox took advantage of the Cardinals’ refusal to intentionally walk Ortiz until it was too late, in Game 6.
On Tuesday night, an intentional walk to Christian Vazquez, who had 46 major-league at-bats coming into the game, led to the Sox briefly taking a 2-1 lead.
With the game tied at 1 in the seventh, Yoenis Cespedes and Nava opened the inning with singles, only the third and fourth hits of the night for the Red Sox off Lance Lynn.
After the runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt, the Cardinals handed Vazquez his first career intentional walk.
The move might have worked had Lynn been able to field his position. Will Middlebrooks hit a tapper back to the mound, but as Lynn tried to pick up the ball to throw home for what could have been an inning-ending double play, he bobbled it and had no choice but to throw to first and allow the go-ahead run to score.
He then got out of the inning by striking out pinch hitter Napoli on a called third strike.
The Red Sox took advantage of another Cardinals mistake to score their first run. A fifth-inning throwing error by Matt Carpenter allowed Nava to reach base, and he eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Vazquez.
De La Rosa dodges trouble: Starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa allowed six hits in six innings, but only one run, thanks in part to two double plays -- one of which he started.
With one run in in the fourth inning, the Cardinals loaded the bases when De La Rosa issued back-to-back walks, but rookie Oscar Taveras hit the first pitch back to the mound, where De La Rosa started a home-to-first double play.
De La Rosa stranded six runners on base in his six innings, including three in scoring position.