Even the offensively-challenged Red Sox couldn’t spoil a solid outing from starter Joe Kelly on Wednesday, as the Sox scored a go-ahead run in the ninth to edge out the Cardinals in a 2-1 win at Busch Stadium.
Kelly, making his first start with the Red Sox, pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Shelby Miller went seven innings as well, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, as they loaded the bases with no outs on Trevor Rosenthal and Xander Bogaerts hit a fly ball plenty deep enough to center to allow Yoenis Cespedes to tag and score the eventual game-winning run.
Junichi Tazawa, who pitched a scoreless eighth, took his second win of the season, while Rosenthal picked up his sixth loss of the year. Koji Uehara earned his 23d save.
Kelly appeared to injure his knee after taking a hard grounder from Oscar Tavares off it in the bottom of the fourth. He stayed in the game, however, coming out to hit in the fifth, as well as out to pitch in the bottom of the frame.
The Red Sox tied it up in the top of the fourth, as Xander Bogaerts hit a ball all the way to the left field wall. Despite appearing to camp under it, Matt Holliday misplayed the fly, as it banged off his glove, allowing Daniel Nava to score all the way from first and see Bogaerts end up a second with a double.
St. Louis grabbed a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first, as Matt Adams singled to right and scored Matt Carpenter – who led off with a double and later advanced to third.
The game began an hour after it was scheduled to due to rain in the St. Louis area.
MVP: Xander Bogaerts
Only one of the two balls he smashed goes on the score sheet as a hit, but they accounted for the Red Sox’ only runs of the game. His fourth inning double tied the game 1-1, while his sac fly in the ninth scored the eventual game-winner. He also made an impressive diving play with runners on first and third in the second to get the final out and keep the game 1-0.
GOAT: Matt Holliday
With Daniel Nava on first, Xander Bogaerts lifted a deep fly ball to left center. Holliday appeared to have it sized up at the wall, but the ball glanced off his glove, allowing Nava to score all the wall from first base to tie the game 1-1, while Bogaerts ended up at second with a double.
ICYMI: Jhonny Peralta looked like he had a sure-fire two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, lauching a ball to deep left that looked gone off the bat, but Yoenis Cespedes sprinted back to track the ball down and make the catch before hitting the wall, much to the chagrin of Peralta.
QUOTE OF THE GAME:
Farrell on Kelly: "He was outstanding. 3 quality pitches for strikes. Curve strong, repeated delivery. He and Vazquez worked well together."— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 7, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: The 2-1 win represented the 44th one-run game the Red Sox have played this year; that’s the most in all of Major League Baseball…Yoenis Cespedes is 5-for-15 since being traded to the Red Sox on July 31…Last season, it took the Red Sox 84 games to secure their 50th win; it took
113 this season to reach that same win total this season.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox improved to 50-63 with the win. They now sit 14 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East, while they are 4.5 behind the Rays for last place in the division. They remain 10 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final AL Wild Card spot.
LOOKING AHEAD: Brandon Workman will get the ball for the Sox in the series finale, looking to get back on track after losing his last four starts. He’s 1-4 on the year with a 4.08 ERA; he went five innings and allowed five runs, although only two were earned, on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts on July 30 against the Blue Jays.
St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals, who is 13-6 with a 2.26 ERA in 22 starts this year. He last pitched on Aug. 1, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts to the Milwaukee Brewers.