Rookie pitcher Michael Wacha got his fourth straight victory this postseason as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to defeat the host Boston Red Sox 4-2 and even the World Series at one game apiece.
Carlos Beltran’s run-scoring single capped a three-run seventh inning for the Cardinals, who ended Boston’s streak of nine consecutive World Series victories.
Game 3 of baseball’s best-of-seven championship series is set for Oct. 26 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The Cardinals tied the game in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter and took a 3-2 lead on that same play thanks to two Boston errors. Beltran followed with his single.
Beltran, 36, who bruised his ribs while crashing into the Fenway Park outfield wall last night in Boston’s 8-1 victory in the series opener, now has 13 runs batted in this postseason.
“Honestly, when I left the ballpark yesterday, I was having little hope to be in the lineup,” Beltran said in a televised interview. “I wanted to be in the lineup, I worked so hard to get to this point. Somebody would have to kill me to get me out of the lineup.”
David Ortiz had given the Red Sox a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning off Wacha, who had allowed one run in 26 1/3 previous innings this postseason.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the fourth inning on a triple by Matt Holliday and a run-scoring groundout by Yadier Molina.
The losing pitcher was John Lackey, who allowed three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. His previous World Series start was in 2002 as a rookie for the Anaheim Angels, making him the fifth pitcher in Major League Baseball history with 11 or more years between World Series starts.
The Red Sox were trying to join the New York Yankees as the only teams in major league history to win 10 straight World Series games. The Yankees have done it three times -- 14 straight wins from 1996-2000, 12 in a row from 1927-32 and 10 consecutive victories from 1937-41.
The Red Sox, who had 4-0 sweeps in their previous two World Series appearances in 2004 and 2007, had not lost since Game 7 of their 1986 defeat by the New York Mets.