Final

Playoff Series: Game 1 of 6

Boston won 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 23
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Game 2: Thursday, October 24
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Game 3: Saturday, October 26
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Game 4: Sunday, October 27
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Game 5: Monday, October 28
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Game 6: Wednesday, October 30
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    Coverage:  FOX

    8:07 PM ET, October 23, 2013

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

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    STL 000000001 1 7 3
    BOS 32000021 - 8 8 1

    W: J. Lester (1-0)

    L: A. Wainwright (0-1)

    Red Sox cruise past sloppy Cardinals in Game 1 of World Series

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- An easy toss on a sure out that skittered away. A routine popup that somehow dropped between Gold Glovers. And something even more startling -- umpires reversing a key call.

    Almost everything fell into place for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series opener.

    Mike Napoli hit a three-run double right after a game-changing decision in the first inning, Jon Lester made the early lead stand up and the Red Sox romped past the sloppy St. Louis Cardinals 8-1 on Wednesday night for their ninth straight win in a World Series game.

    A season before Major League Baseball is expected to expand instant replay, fans got to see a preview. The entire six-man crew huddled and flipped a ruling on a forceout at second base -- without looking at any video.

    "I think based on their group conversation, surprisingly, to a certain extent, they overturned it and I think got the call right," Boston manager John Farrell said.

    David Ortiz was robbed of a grand slam by Carlos Beltran -- a catch that sent the star right fielder to a hospital with bruised ribs -- but "Big Papi" later hit a two-run homer after third baseman David Freese's bad throw.

    The Red Sox also capitalized on two errors by shortstop Pete Kozma to extend a Series winning streak that began when they swept St. Louis in 2004. Boston never trailed at any point in those four games and coasted on this rollicking night at Fenway Park, thanks to a hideous display by the Cardinals.

    It got so bad for St. Louis that the sellout crowd literally laughed when pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, who have combined to win six Gold Gloves, let an easy popup drop untouched between them.

    Serious-minded St. Louis manager Mike Matheny didn't find anything funny, especially when the umpires changed a call by Dana DeMuth at second base.

    "Basically, the explanation is that's not a play I've ever seen before. And I'm pretty sure there were six umpires on the field that had never seen that play before, either," Matheny said.

    "It's a pretty tough time to debut that overruled call in the World Series. Now, I get that they're trying to get the right call, I get that. Tough one to swallow," he said.

    DeMuth said he never actually saw Kozma drop the ball.

    "My vision was on the foot. And when I was coming up, all I could see was a hand coming out and the ball on the ground. All right? So I was assuming," DeMuth told a pool reporter.

    There was no dispute, however, that the umpires properly ruled Kozma had not caught a soft toss from second baseman Matt Carpenter on a potential forceout. That's what crew chief John Hirschbeck told Matheny.

    "I just explained to him ... that five of us were 100 percent sure," Hirschbeck said. "Our job is to get the play right. And that's what we did.

    "I said, 'I know you are not happy with it, that it went against you, but you have to understand that the play is correct.'"

    Jon Lester

    Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

    Jon Lester struck out 8 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Boston's 8-1 win Wednesday night.

    The normally slick-fielding Cardinals looked sloppy at every turn. Wainwright bounced a pickoff throw, Molina let a pitch trickle off his mitt, center fielder Shane Robinson bobbled the carom on Napoli's double and there was a wild pitch.

    The Cardinal Way? More like, no way.

    "We had a wake-up call. That is not the kind of team that we've been all season," Matheny said. "And they're frustrated. I'm sure embarrassed to a point."

    Game 2 is Thursday night, with 22-year-old rookie sensation Michael Wacha starting for St. Louis against John Lackey. Wacha is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA this postseason.

    Beltran is day-to-day after X-rays were negative.

    Lester blanked the Cardinals on five hits over 7 2/3 innings and struck out eight for his third win this postseason.

    "We wanted to set the tone and get them swinging," he said.

    Ryan Dempster gave up Matt Holliday's leadoff home run in the ninth.

    Boston brought the beards and made it a most hairy night for St. Louis. The Cardinals wrecked themselves with just their second three-error game of the season.

    The umpires made a mistake, too, but at least they got to fix it in a hurry.

    After the control-conscious Wainwright walked leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury in the first inning, Dustin Pedroia singled him to second with one out.

    Ortiz then hit a slow grounder to Carpenter, and it didn't appear the Cardinals could turn a double play. Hurrying, Kozma let the backhanded flip glance off his glove.

    DeMuth instantly called Pedroia out, indicating that Kozma dropped the ball while trying to transfer it to his throwing hand. Farrell quickly popped out of the dugout to argue while Pedroia went to the bench.

    Farrell argued with every umpire he could and must have made a persuasive case. As the fans hollered louder and louder as they studied TV replays, all the umpires gathered on the dirt near shortstop and conferred. They decided there was no catch at all.

    "You rarely see that, especially on a stage like this," Napoli said. "But I think that was good for the game."

    Pedroia came bounding from the dugout, and suddenly, the bases were loaded in the first. Napoli unloaded them with a double that rolled to the Green Monster in left-center.

    Napoli, with maybe the bushiest beard of all, certainly picked up where he left off the last time he saw the Cardinals in October. In the 2011 Series, he hit .350 with two home runs and 10 RBIs as Texas lost in seven games to St. Louis.

    The Red Sox added to their 3-0 lead with two more runs in the second. A fielding error by Kozma set up Pedroia's RBI single.

    The whole inning got going when Stephen Drew's popup in front of the mound landed at Wainwright's feet, a step or two from Molina. The ace pitcher and the star catcher both hung their heads.

    "I called it. I waited for someone else to take charge. That's not the way to play baseball. It was totally my error," Wainwright said.

    Ortiz, who hit a tying grand slam at Fenway in the American League Championship Series win over Detroit, sent a long drive to right-center. Beltran, playing in his first World Series, braced himself with one hand on the low wall in front of the bullpen and reached over with his glove to make the catch.

    "At least I got an RBI and we were up four and got the momentum," Ortiz said.

    Beltran hurt himself on the play and left in the third inning.

    Ortiz homered in the seventh, and the Red Sox got another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts.

    The Red Sox almost made a terrific play to finish the game. With two outs in the ninth, Freese hit a sharp single and right fielder Shane Victorino nearly threw him out at first base.

    NOTES: Lester has pitched 13 1/3 scoreless innings in two Series starts. He closed out a 2007 sweep over Colorado. ... The Red Sox won their fifth straight World Series opener since losing Game 1 to St. Louis in 1967. ... Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski threw out the first ball. ... The team that won the Series opener has taken the title in 14 of the past 16 years.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumFenway Park, Boston, MA
    Attendance38,345 (103.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:17
    Weather50 degrees, cloudy
    Wind5 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Paul Emmel

    Research Notes

    A big win in Game 1 of the World Series has been a good sign in recent years. The Red Sox are the 6th team in the past 30 seasons to win Game 1 of the World Series by at least 7 runs, and 4 of the other 5 went on to win the series. That includes the last team to do it, the 2007 Red Sox.
      [+]
    David Ortiz has at least 2 hits and 2 RBI in each of the three World Series Game 1s he has played. He is the first player in MLB history with 3 straight multi-hit, multi-RBI games in World Series openers.
    From Elias: Jon Lester is the third pitcher in the last 70 years to win a World Series clinching game for his team, and then win the team's next World Series game:
      [+]
    Jon Lester becomes the fourth pitcher in World Series history to throw at least 7 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts in Game 1:
      [+]
    Jon Lester is the 3rd pitcher in the past 25 seasons to throw at least 7 scoreless innings in Game 1 of the World Series, and the first since Jose Rijo for the 1990 Reds... The other two on this list were named Series MVP and both of their teams won in a sweep.
      [+]
    Jon Lester is the 3rd pitcher to allow 0 runs in each of his first two career World Series starts (allowed 0 R in 5 2/3 IP in 2007). The others are Madison Bumgarner (also first 2) and Christy Mathewson (first 3).
    David Freese: hits into the first 1-2-3 DP in the World Series in 40 years. Last one: John Milner (Mets vs Athletics) in 1973
    From Elias: This is the 46th postseason game (all rounds) in which a team led by 5+ runs after 2 innings. The team that led by 5+ runs after 2 innings won EVERY one of those games. There have been 18 World Series games of this type entering tonight. The team leading by 5+ runs after 2 innings is 18-0.
    Mike Napoli: 1st 3-run double in a World Series game since Garret Anderson, 2002 Angels (Game 7 vs Giants)

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