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Rookie Wacha improves to 4-0 in postseason as Cardinals even World Series

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Updated: October 24, 2013 11:37PM



BOSTON – Seemingly flattened by David Ortiz’ two-run homer over the Green Monster that sent a jolt through Fenway Park, the St. Louis Cardinals picked themselves up and rallied for a 4-2 victory to even up the World Series on Thursday night.

Trailing 2-1, the Cardinals pieced together a three-run seventh after Ortiz’ homer, aided by reliever Craig Breslow’s throwing error. Matt Carpenter drove in pinch runner Pete Kozma with a game-tying sacrifice fly and Jon Jay also scored on the play when Breslow threw the ball into the stands trying to throw Jay out at third. Just like that, the series took on a whole new look.

“We feel confident and feel good about ourselves because we know how well we play at home,’’ Beltran said.

Beltran, whose status for the game was questionable because of sore ribs, drove in the Cardinals’ fourth run with a single, his second hit of the night.

“I wanted to be in the lineup. I worked so hard to get to this point,” Beltran said. “Somebody would have to kill me in order for me to get out of the lineup.”

Rookie Carlos Martinez threw two scoreless innings in relief of rookie Michael Wacha, whose record postseason streak of 18 2/3 scoreless innings for a rookie was stopped by Ortiz’ fifth home run of the postseason in the sixth, and rookie closer Trevor Rosenthal pitched a perfect ninth.

Wacha improved to 4-0 in the postseason.

“The kid continues to impress,’’ Matheny said. “I don’t know what else you could ask. Put him on any stage and he he does a real nice job limiting distractions.’’

Matt Holliday tripled to center field in the fourth against starter John Lackey and scored on Yadier Molina’s chopper for the Cardinals’ first run.

“There for a little while it was going pretty good,’’ said Lackey, who at 35 is 13 years older than Wacha. “I felt good tonight. The margin for error is slim this time of year.’’

The series shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday. Jake Peavy will pitch for the Red Sox against the Cardinals’ Joe Kelly.

A lift from Beltran

Carlos Beltran wasn’t a go until an hour or so before the first pitch. For the Cardinals, already down after a lackluster performance in Game 1, just having Beltran’s name penciled in the lineup provided a needed pregame lift.

Playing in his first World Series, the 16-year veteran contributed two singles, his second driving in the third run of a three-run seventh that gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.

Beltran sustained the injury making a catch against the right field wall, robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam in Game 1.

“I left the park wondering what was going to happen because the pain was so bad,’’ Beltran said.

“Very encouraged,’’ Matheny said. “Obviously he feels pretty good.’’

Minor shakeup

Matheny started Daniel Descalso at shortstop in place of Kozma, in Game 1 the first rookie to make two errors in a World Series game since Don Zimmer in 1955. Kozma righted himself, though, entering as a pinch runner and scoring the tying run in the seventh on Carpenter’s sacrifice fly (the Cards got a second run on the play when catcher Jarrod Saltalamachia couldn’t hold the throw and pitcher Craig Breslow, backing up, made a wild throw to third) and making a slick barehand play in the bottom of the seventh.

Peavy gets Game 3

Farrell is pushing Clay Buchholz back a day to Game 4 and moving Jake Peavy up to pitch Game 3 on Saturday. Buchholz has an undisclosed ailment, but nothing “to the point of keeping him out starting,’’ Farrell said.

Peavy, aquired from the White Sox before the trade deadline, was uncharacteristically wild and gave up seven runs in three innings in Game 4 of the ALCS. He gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings in Boston’s ALDS clincher against the Rays.

This and that

*Ortiz’ 17 career postseason home runs tied Jim Thome for seventh-most in history.

*The Red Sox had a nine-game World Series winning streak snapped.

*Farrell on the series knotted up: “We fully expected this to be a hard-fought series. Not surprising the position we’re in.’’

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CST_soxvan



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