Cardinals take advantage of Red Sox errors to even Series
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BOSTON -- Mike Matheny practically spit out his words between clenched teeth after a sloppy loss in Game 1 of the World Series.
"Right now this is one game that got away from us, and it was in a fashion that we're not used to," said the Cardinals' manager, "or will we get used to it."
St. Louis committed three errors in Game 1, but a far different team showed up Thursday night -- starting on the mound, where 22-year-old Michael Wacha turned in another standout performance. Now the series is tied after the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-2, in Game 2 at Fenway Park, helped by Boston's two errors on one seventh-inning play.
"The guys stayed aggressive today,'' Matheny said. "That's the difference between yesterday and today. It was not a tentative team, which we haven't been all year. So it was good to see them turn the page on that."
The Series now heads to St. Louis for three games, starting Saturday night, when the Cardinals' Joe Kelly takes on Jake Peavy in Game 3.
David Ortiz gave Boston a 2-1 lead in the sixth with what appeared to be a soul-crushing two-run homer over the Green Monster off Wacha, who came in 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three postseason starts.
"I made a mistake, 3-2 changeup up in the zone, and he made me pay," said Wacha, who allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six innings, striking out six. "I didn't have my best stuff tonight."
Matheny saw it differently. "The kid continues to impress," he said. "Put him on any stage and he does a real nice job of limiting distractions."
The Cardinals immediately rallied after Ortiz's fifth homer of this postseason.
Boston starter John Lackey struck out Allen Craig to start the seventh but walked David Freese. After Jon Jay singled to right, John Farrell replaced Lackey with lefty Craig Breslow.
Pete Kozma ran for Freese and the Cardinals pulled off a double steal that put runners at second and third with one out. Daniel Descalso then walked to load the bases for leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter.
Carpenter lifted a fly to short left and Jonny Gomes ran in to catch it. Kozma took off for home and Gomes came up throwing. The throw was slightly off line, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to make the tag before he caught the ball. It went off his glove -- he was charged with an error -- and Breslow, backing up the play, fired wildly to third in an attempt to get Jay. That allowed a second run to score and gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
"Uncharacteristic of the way I think we've taken care of the baseball this year," Farrell said, sounding much like Matheny did the night before. "And it contributed to the three runs."
Carlos Beltran, who had said he didn't think he'd be healthy enough for Game 2 after leaving Game 1 with bruised ribs after robbing Ortiz of a grand slam, then sent an RBI single to right to make it 4-2. It was his second hit of the night.
Matheny replaced Wacha with rookie Carlos Martinez, 22, who retired Boston in order in the seventh. But the eighth did not go as smoothly.
Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an error by second baseman Carpenter, but Martinez struck out Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia. With lefty specialist Randy Choate ready in the bullpen, Matheny let Martinez face Ortiz. The DH reached on a single to short right-center, but Martinez got out of the inning when Mike Napoli popped to short.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal, 23, another of the Cardinals' seemingly endless parade of quality young arms, struck out the side in the ninth for the save, with the final strike a 99-mph fastball that pinch hitter Daniel Nava missed.
"We feel confident and we feel good about ourselves because we know how well we play at home," Beltran said. "It's comfortable for us to go back home."
Even more so with the series all even.