Boston 3 St. Louis 1
ST. LOUIS — Jon Lester smothered St. Louis on four hits into the eighth, David Ross hit a tie-breaking RBI double in a two-run seventh inning off Adam Wainwright and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cardinals 3-1 Monday night to take a 3-2 World Series lead.
David Ortiz’s RBI double in the first put the Red Sox ahead until Matt Holliday hit his second home run of the Series in the fourth, ending a 16 1/3 inning Series scoreless streak for Lester dating to 2007.
In a rematch of the opener, won by the Red Sox 8-1, Lester again beat Wainwright, striking out seven and walking one in 7 2/3 innings. Koji Uehara got four outs to finish the four-hitter for his second save.
Boston can win its third title in a decade on Wednesday night, when the Series resumes at Fenway Park — where the Red Sox haven’t won a championship on their home field since 1918. John Lackey starts for Boston and rookie Michael Wachafor St. Louis in a rematch of Game 2, won by the Cardinals 4-2.
In the 42 previous times the Series has been tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner has gone on to take the title 27 times — but just three of the last 10.
Game 6 is a must see, do not miss it
Weren’t the Red Sox supposed to be awful this year?
Mike Napoli’s drive cleared the wall in center field and landed in the ivy — a spot at Comerica Park usually reserved for Miguel Cabrera’s prodigious homers.
In this series, Napoli has been the one hitting key home runs, while Cabrera remains stymied by a tough Boston bullpen.
Napoli opened the scoring with another big long ball, Junichi Tazawa again bested Cabrera in a crucial spot and the Red Sox moved within one win of reaching the World Series by edging the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Thursday night.
Boston returns to Fenway Park with a 3-2 lead in the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox can win the AL pennant Saturday, when the Tigers’ Max Scherzer faces the Red Sox’sClay Buchholz in Game 6.
“Our guys are well aware of where we are,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “But at the same time, the beauty of them is to not get ahead of themselves, and that will be the case once that first pitch is thrown on Saturday.”
One of the stupidest thing my Rangers did was to NOT resign Napoli
Detroit blew a big lead in game 2, and now are in trouble
Once again this October, one run was enough.
John Lackey edged Justin Verlander in the latest duel of these pitching-rich playoffs, and Boston’s bullpen shut down Detroit’s big boppers with the game on the line to lift the Red Sox over the Tigers 1-0 Tuesday for a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.
Mike Napoli homered off Verlander in the seventh inning, and Detroit’s best chance to rally fell short in the eighth when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder struck out with runners at the corners.
“The runs are pretty stingy,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “This is what it’s about in postseason, is good pitching.”
Despite three straight gems by their starters, the Tigers suddenly trail in a best-of-seven series they seemed to control just two days ago. Game 4 is Wednesday night at Comerica Park, with Jake Peavy scheduled to start for the Red Sox against Doug Fister.
Starting to get the feeling that Detroit is done
The Tigers are headed to their third straight ALCS
Yes, Justin Verlander is back.
By the time he was done Thursday night in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, he had disposed of the A’s and was pitching against history.
Just when America wondered whether Verlander could meet his own postseason standards, let alone his Game 5 masterpiece in Oakland in last year’s ALDS, he returned to town and no-hit the A’s for 6 2/3 innings. They broke up the no-no, but not his shutout streak as the righty helped send the Tigers through to the AL Championship Series with eight shutout innings in a 3-0 win.
The Tigers advance to face the Red Sox Saturday at Fenway Park to open the ALCS (8 p.m. ET, FOX). The A’s, meanwhile, go home wondering what they have to do to get past Verlander.
If there was a year for the A’s to get him, this was it. They chased him after five innings and 104 pitches Aug. 27 at Comerica Park, having put up five runs on him. Though he shut down them for seven innings in Game 2 of this series, rookie Sonny Gray’s eight-inning masterpiece extended a scoreless duel into the ninth before the A’s pulled it out.
Of the four teams left, the Tigers have the longest championship drought. They last won it all in 1984. The Dodgers are next, with their last title coming in 1988.
Do not count the Rays out yet
ST. PETERSBURG — Jose Lobaton hit a walk-off homer in the ninth to give the Rays a 5-4 win over the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
The blast came with two outs off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara and forced a Game 4, which will be played Tuesday night at Tropicana Field at 8:30 ET on TBS.
The home run was Lobaton’s third walk-off hit of the season and the Rays’ 14th, and it couldn’t have come at a better time after Fernando Rodney blew a one-run lead in the top half of the inning on a night that saw the Rays come back from an early three-run deficit.
“I was looking for something soft,” Lobaton said. “He threw it to me in a good spot, and I just hit it pretty good.”
Evan Longoria’s dramatic three-run homer off Clay Buchholz in the bottom of the fifth tied the score and set the table for the comeback. Until that point it had been all Red Sox.
Boston is now 14-7 vs Tampa Bay this season
BOSTON — This is the time of year when pitching is supposed to rule, but the Red Sox aren’t buying that line of thinking.
The Sox have been the most productive offense in the Majors all season, and it doesn’t look like the postseason is forcing them to change their game plan.
David Price is the Rays’ biggest weapon, and the Red Sox completely disarmed the lefty and his team in a big way on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Coming through with a collection of timely hits against Price, Boston notched a 7-4 victory that has put Tampa Bay in an 0-2 stranglehold in this best-of-five American League Division Series.
This, after the Red Sox throttled Matt Moore, another ace-caliber lefty, en route to a 12-2 rout in Game 1.
“Are you surprised? Come on,” bemused Shane Victorino.
Remember that prior to the season, the BoSox were an afterthought, so much for experts
Boston seizes 1-0 series lead in style
BOSTON — One ball fell between two outfielders. Another took a bad hop off the Green Monster standings. One batter reached safely on a dropped third strike and another when the pitcher was slow to cover first.
By the time it was over, the Boston Red Sox had scored five runs in the fourth inning, taking advantage of Tampa Bay’s bad luck and bad defense to beat the Rays 12-2 on Friday in Game 1 of the AL division series.
Every Boston starter got a hit and scored a run. The Red Sox tweeted that it was the first time a team had done that in the postseason since 1936 — Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees did it in the World Series.
Needing a 163rd game to earn a wild-card berth, the Rays took three win-or-go home matchups in three different cities to reach this series. Now they need a victory in Game 2 on Saturday to tie the series before the teams shift to St. Petersburg, Fla., for Games 3 and 4.
So far all we have seen is blowouts in the LDS series