Cards bullpen falters in relief of Lynn

News-DemocratOctober 27, 2013 

— The St. Louis Cardinals bullpen sprung a leak in their 4-2 loss to Boston in Game 4 of the World Series Sunday night.

Reliever Seth Maness gave up a three-run homer by Boston's Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning, with two of the runs charged to starter Lance Lynn.

"He's been a guy who's been able to do an incredible job in that situation all season long," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's been able to come in and get the big out when we needed it, and we wanted to give him a shot.

"And it just didn't work out tonight."

The pen also gave up two runs in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' 5-4 win in Game 3, both by Carlos Martinez.

The homer allowed by Maness on Sunday came at a crucial point in the game, with the Cardinals and Lynn trying to remain in a 1-1 tie with the Red Sox.

Manager Mike Matheny could have chosen to have left-handed specialist Randy Choate face Boston's David Ortiz with one runner on base, but instead had Lynn issue a four-pitch to Ortiz before summoning Maness to face Gomes.

The Boston left fielder knocked Maness' 2-2 pitch 387 feet into the Boston bullpen, putting the Red Sox ahead 4-1.

Craig delivers again

Allen Craig singled off the right-field wall in a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning Sunday, 24 hours after he put his injured left foot in harm's way scoring the Cards' winning run in their 5-4 victory in Game 3.

X-rays were negative on Craig's foot after that game, and he was able to reach base Sunday, though he had trouble running to first base on the drive off the right-field wall.

He was lifted for pinch-runner Kolten Wong, who was picked off first base to end the game.

Craig will be available to pinch-hit in Game 5 Monday, and could be the DH when the series returns to Boston for Game 6 on Wednesday.

It is becoming more apparent, however, that Craig will not be able to play in the field.

"He's been working with the doctors to try to get everything loose again," Matheny said prior to Game 4. "The defensive work is really kind of secondary to having him available to come in and do what he did (Saturday) night."

Craig hobbled off the field after the game Saturday, assisted by trainer Greg Hauck.

With Yadier Molina on first and one out in the ninth, Craig ripped a pinch-hit double into the left-field corner to send Molina to third.

Jon Jay grounded to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was playing in. Pedroia threw out Molina at home, but catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a wide throw to third to try to nab Craig.

The throw went off third baseman Will Middlebrooks' glove and was picked up by left fielder Daniel Nava. Middlebrooks fell to the ground, and Craig became entangled in Middlebrooks' legs.

Third-base umpire Jim Joyce immediately ruled obstruction. Craig, taking nothing for granted, came home and would have been out. But plate umpire Dana DeMuth reiterated Joyce's obstruction call, give Craig home and handing St. Louis a 5-4 triumph.

"He looked very good going home to second," Matheny said. "He ran extremely well, as good as we've seen him. I didn't think we were going to do much more running, but that changed quickly."

Hot Holliday

St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday was just 11-for-45 (.244) through the first two rounds of the postseason. But Holliday has found his stroke in the World Series and was 5-for-13 with a double, a triple, a homer and four RBIs in the first three games.

Boston manager John Farrell has noticed.

"It seems like when there's men on base, he's standing in the batter's box," Farrell said. "It's one of those uncanny things. You look up and here's Holliday walking to the plate with a couple of guys on.

"He's always been an aggressive hitter. Obviously, to have the success he's having, he's extremely talented, and he's in the middle of all their rallies, it seems like, so far in these last three games."

Holliday took the collar Sunday, going hitless in four at-bats.

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