Cardinals Defeat Red Sox 4-2 to Even World Series at Game Apiece

Rookie pitcher Michael Wacha held the Boston Red Sox to two runs for his fourth postseason win and helped the visiting St. Louis Cardinals even the World Series at one game each with a 4-2 victory.

Wacha, 22, gave up three hits and struck out six in six innings for the Cardinals, who host Game 3 in the best-of-seven series tomorrow at Busch Stadium.

Wacha was relieved by 22-year-old Carlos Martinez, who allowed one hit and struck out three in two innings before Trevor Rosenthal, 23, struck out three in the ninth for the save.

“They’re not afraid to pitch,” Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said of the young pitchers. “We take our cap off to Wacha.”

Matt Holliday scored on Molina’s groundout in the fourth inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead before Boston’s David Ortiz hit his second home run of the series and 17th of his career in the postseason to drive home Dustin Pedroia for a 2-1 advantage in the sixth inning.

“He was dominant from the beginning,” Rosenthal said of Wacha. “He did damage control to keep us in the game.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wacha “was impressive. He’s a young guy with great stuff.”

The Cardinals scored three times in the seventh inning. Pete Kozma and Jon Jay reached home on Matt Carpenter’s sacrifice fly after a pair of Boston errors on the play, and Carlos Beltran drove in Daniel Descalso for a run.

Beltran Injury

Beltran, 36, who injured his ribs in the first game when he crashed into an outfield wall to rob Ortiz of a home run, returned to the lineup last night.

“When I left the ballpark yesterday, I had little hope of being in the lineup,” said Beltran, who is in a World Series for the first time in his 16-year MLB career. “I worked so hard to get to this point.”

Losing pitcher John Lackey gave up three runs on five hits and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings for the Red Sox.

“We fully expected this to be a hard-fought series,” Farrell said. “We’re not surprised by the position we’re in now.”

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.

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