Four Real? Beards beat Birds in WS Game One 10-23-13

Lefty Jon Lester twirled a 7.2-inning shutout over St. Louis in Game One
of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park Wednesday night (photo

Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer

The Boston Red Sox showed the St. Louis Cardinals the error of their ways at Fenway Park Wednesday night as the Beards beat the Birds 8-1 in Game One of the 2013 World Series.

St. Louis committed three Cardinal sins and put a trio of errors on the board that led to Red Sox runs as Boston edged St. Louis 8-7 in the hits column and improved to 9-0 in World Series play since 2004 in the bargain.

Boston starter Jon Lester was nothing short of masterful in his first World Series start since pitching the clinching Game Four of the 2007 Series in Colorado. The lefthander (2-1, 2.33 in three postseason starts) shut out the Cardinals for seven and two thirds, striking out eight and walking one while only serving up five hits to first base.

Junichi Tazawa came on to relieve Lester and struck out Jon Jay on six pitches to finish the eighth. Ryan Dempster entered in the ninth and gave up a leadoff homer to Matt Holliday, but then retired three of the next four to cap the game.

Adam Wainwright — who came into the game with a 2-1 record and a 1.57 ERA in the playoffs — deserved better from his defense, but didn’t help his own cause by giving up three earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out four in five innings. John Axford came on to strike out the side in the sixth but relievers Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist and Carlos Martinez allowed one more run each out of the bullpen.

Boston caught a — pardon the pun — lucky break in the second when right fielder Carlos Beltran collided with the bullpen wall while catching a near-grand slam off David Ortiz and had to leave the game with a right rib contusion. He was taken for X-Rays at an area hospital. After the game, St. Louis Gm John Mozeliak said that X-rays and CT scan were negative and Beltran will be a game-time decision for Thursday’s Second Game.

Ortiz might have just missed his second grand slam of the postseason thanks to Beltran, but Big Papi still put together a huge night at the dish, going 2 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Mike Napoli also cashed in three runs with a bases-clearing double in the first. In the eighth, Xander Bogaerts cashed in Daniel Nava on a sac fly to become the second-youngest player in World Series history behind Mickey Mantle to record an RBI.

This World Series is truly a meeting of baseball’s best — St. Louis and Boston both finished the season tied for top spot in the Majors at 97-65. It’s the fourth time that the Cards and Sox have met in the Fall Classic, with St. Louis beating Boston by 4-3 counts in 1946 and ’67 and the Sox sweeping the Cards in 2004.

As @CelticsLife writer Michael Dyer tweeted after the game, the Red Sox have now played 81 World Series innings since 2004 and have had a lead after 74 of them.

Yet another postseason stat to behold: World Series Game One winners have gone on to win the trophy 21 of the last 25 years.

Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:

1) Power Nap: After a Pete Kozma error loaded the bases with one out in the first, Mike Napoli ripped an Adam Wainwright cutter to center, driving in Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to lift the Red Sox to an early 3-0 lead.

2) For Pete’s Sake: After another Kozma error loaded the bases with one out in the second, Dustin Pedroia singled to left to cash in Stephen Drew, put the Sox up 4-0 and move two more into scoring position.

3) Big Pop: One batter later, David Ortiz stroked a ball deep to right that Carlos Beltran hauled in — while crashing into the bullpen fence — to turn a grand slam into a sacrifice fly that scored Shane Victorino from third for a 5-0 Boston advantage.

4) One And Done: In the seventh, reliever Kevin Siegrist came into the game, threw one pitch to David Ortiz and watched Big Papi take it for a long, two-run ride into the first row of the bleachers seats in right center to put Boston out in front 7-0.

John Lackey (2-0, 3.00 ERA in two postseason games) gets the ball for Boston in Game Two tomorrow night at Fenway as the Cards counter with NLCS MVP Michael Wacha, who is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three postseason starts. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.

Twitter: @jan_doh