Cards Hand BoSox First Home Series Loss of Season
After dropping 3 straight games at home to the Kansas City Royals, the banged up Redbirds had no reason to feel confident heading into Boston to face the AL Central’s top team. However, the Cardinals did what most Tony LaRussa managed ball clubs do when facing adversity; defeat the odds.
On Friday evening the Redbirds would find power from unexpected sources. Jason LaRue, Skip Schumaker, and Yadier Molina would all homer to give St. Louis a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox. Kyle Lohse collected his 9 th victory of the season giving up 1 earned run off of 6 hits in 6 innings pitched. Ryan Franklin earned his 10 th save of the season after being forced to work 2 innings. The Cardinals figured out knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, late in the game to put his record under the .500 mark at 4-5.
The bats stayed hot on Saturday for St. Louis, as the Cardinals would use a 12 hit effort to take the 2nd game of the series in deciding fashion over the Red Sox winning 9-3. Cards rookie Mitchell Boggs would out pitch Daisuke Matsuzaka who would suffer his first loss of the season after being knocked out of the game after the 1 st inning. Aaron Miles got to Matsuzaka early plating his first home run of the season in the first inning. The Redbirds would get some power production from the middle of the lineup getting home runs from Trop Glaus and Rick Ankiel off of Boston relief pitching. Red Sox shortstop Alex Cora would double to drive in 2 runs in the 2 nd inning off of Boggs to cut the Cards lead to 8-2. Boggs would settle in after that and his only other blemish would be in the 6 th where he gave up a solo shot to red hot J.D. Drew who has really accelerated his play since Red Sox DH David Ortiz was placed on the DL.
The Cardinals would look to sweep Boston in Fenway Park on Sunday and would receive another quality start from Joel Pineiro who pitched brilliantly early on. The Cards took a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning before Pineiro threw a rare mistake to Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis cutting the lead in half. Aaron Miles would lead off the 8 th with a single before ending up with a 5 hit day. Red sox starter Jon Lester and reliever Manny Delcarmen would then retire the side to give their offense a chance in the bottom half of the inning. Coco Crisp led the inning off with what appeared to be a routine fly ball to center until Rick Ankiel lost his footing and Crisp ended up on third. The Cardinals talented, young reliever Chris Perez entered the game and struggled to find the strike zone after giving up a sacrifice to tie the game. He would walk 3 consecutive batters giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead heading into the 9 th. Lights out closer, Jonathon Papelbon was given the ball and retired his first 2 batters. Cards outfielder Chris Duncan drew a walk before Tony would decided to pinch-hit with Adam Kennedy. Kennedy took advantage of the opportunity doubling off the wall to tie the game. The two teams battled until Kevin Youkilis would be the hero in the bottom of the 13 th with a walk off homer against Mike Parisi who dropped to 0-3 on the year.
The Cardinals must be pleased with their showing in Boston and will have Monday off before continuing their AL road trip in Detroit. Tuesday will showcase a couple of veterans in Braden Looper (8-5) and Kenny Rogers (5-4). On Wednesday, Kyle Lohse (9-2) will have to deal with Tigers hurler Armando Galarraga (7-2) who has not surrendered an earned run in his last 2 starts. The series caps off Thursday with Todd Wellemeyer (7-2) facing off against Nate Robertson (6-6).
Cardinals Note: The Cardinals placed Cesar Izturis on the 15-day disabled list enabling a call up for Nick Stavinoha’s Major League debut where he collected his first hit in a series that saw Yadier Molina play some first base as he recovers from a mild concussion from last week.
By Zack Estes
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