(BaseballStL) — Adam Wainwright’s Game 5 went a far sight better than his Game 1, but the Cardinal offensive output was the same.
Like last Wednesday, the Redbirds could manage only one run in nine innings. Like Wednesday, it was a Matt Holliday home run.
It took nine pitches for Boston to get on the board, and it came from a predictable source. After Dustin Pedroia ripped an 0-2 double on a hanging curveball, David Ortiz followed up with a two-bagger of his own.
Ortiz, who was moved into the three spot in the order for Monday's game, was posting an unbelievable 2.114 World Series OPS prior to Game 5 and had scored five and driven in five against the Cardinals.
"He's having a great series," said Boston manager John Farrell. "The one thing we won't do is get too far ahead of ourselves, whether that's what we achieve collectively or what any individual's performance suggests. But he's in a really good place, obviously."
Ortiz's sixth RBI of the series put the Red Sox ahead early, and when he was pulled for a late-game defensive upgrade, he walked off the field hitting 11-for-15 in the World Series.
Despite the back-to-back doubles in the first, Wainwright rebounded to effectively shut down the Red Sox offense.
The righty struck out nine batters through six innings scattering hits and issuing no free passes.
Holliday struck an equalizing blow in the fourth, blasting a homer into center field. In a back-and-forth series, the swing seemed to swing momentum back to the Cardinals.
But after cruising for five innings, Wainwright hit a bump in the seventh.
After Xander Bogaerts reached on a single up the middle, the Georgia native walked Stephen Drew. Drew had been 4-for-49 to that point in the postseason.
David Ross then lined a curveball into left, and it hopped the fence for a ground rule double to give Boston a one run advantage.
After Jon Lester hit for himself, resulting in the second out, Jacoby Ellsbury stepped in. Despite the situation, Mike Matheny opted to keep Wainwright in the game.
"We liked how he was throwing," Matheny said. "We liked the fact that he had a couple of strikeouts and a pop-up in the previous three at-bats, and liked the way he was going about it to get us out of that."
After fouling off the first offering, Ellsbury took the second pitch into center, scoring Drew.
As Ross came around third, Shane Robinson fired to the plate, beating him by two steps. The play ended the inning, but not before the Red Sox scored two to take a 3-1 lead.
It might as well have been 10, as the St. Louis offense simply couldn’t mount an attack against Jon Lester.
"I thought we took some better at-bats here than last time," said Mike Matheny after the game." Played a little cleaner game, but couldn't get much going. He kept us down."
There was a flicker of life in the eighth, when David Freese doubled in what could be his last at-bat in St. Louis. Boston promptly extinguished any hope when Koji Uehara entered and struck out pinch hitter Matt Adams with three pitches.
In the ninth the Cardinals went down in order, and now head to Boston for Game 6. Michael Wacha will take the hill in his third elimination game of the postseason.
"Once again, we were in that spot backed up where we had to have a win. It's not something we haven't seen before, and the guys know what we have to do," Matheny said. "They have to lock arms, trust each other and play the game the right way."