One swing -- and World Series is going back to Boston

News-DemocratOctober 28, 2013 

— Jonny Gomes wasn't in Boston's original lineup Sunday night.

But when Shane Victorino was scratched with lower-back tightness, the Red Sox turned to Gomes and he delivered in a big way with a three-run homer in the sixth that gave the Red Sox a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series.

Gomes connected on a 2-2 pitch from rookie Seth Maness, depositing it into the Boston bullpen in left field and giving Maness a rude welcome after he relieved Lance Lynn.

"The one thing I've always wanted out of this game was the opportunity, whether that was a uniform, whether that was a pinch-hit, whether that was to get a start," said Gomes, whose homer broke a 1-1 tie. "So I got the opportunity tonight, and one thing you can guarantee is when I'm in the lineup, I'm going to be swinging.

"And I was fortunate enough right there to put a good swing on a good pitch."

The Red Sox's victory tied the best-of-seven series at two games apiece and assured it will return to Fenway Park. Game 5 will be at 7:07 p.m. Monday, with Adam Wainwright pitching for the Cardinals against Boston's Jon Lester in a rematch of Game 1.

Lynn got the first two outs in the sixth, but Dustin Pedroia singled to left-center. Lynn pitched around the sizzling David Ortiz, walking the Boston slugger on four pitches.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny summoned Maness, a move that backfired when Gomes hit his first career postseason home run, quieting a record crowd of 47,469 at Busch Stadium III.

"I missed my spot," Maness said. "I left the ball up over the plate, and he put a good swing on it and capitalized. ... A guy like me, I've got to hit my spots. It didn't happen tonight.

"I looked at (the video) and it was right down the middle. Sometimes you get away from those. But against a good hitter, more times than not, you're not going to get away with that."

Lynn was surprised he was taken out of the game, especially after working around Ortiz to get Gomes to the plate. Lynn blew up once he reached the dugout, twice slamming his glove on the bench.

"As a competitor, you want to have that opportunity to pitch yourself out of that inning," said Lynn, who allowed three runs (earned) on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. "You do everything you can. You go out there and give it everything you've got. It just didn't work out."

Lynn acknowledged his anger, which he said was stronger than usual given the circumstances of pitching in the World Series.

"I'm not happy when I come out of a game ever," Lynn said. "That's just part of being a competitor. If you want out of the game, you shouldn't ever be out there ever. It's the World Series. If you don't want to pitch in the World Series, you can go right home."

Matheny had left-hander Randy Choate warmed up to face Ortiz, but said Choate wasn't an option.

"No, not at that point," Matheny said. "He was ready; we just weren't going there."

St. Louis got a pinch-hit single with one out in the ninth against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. Rookie Kolten Wong ran for Craig, who still is nursing a sore left foot. After Matt Carpenter popped out, Wong was picked off first base by Uehara to end the game.

"Once I went to plant and go back (to first), my back foot just gave out," Wong said. "I just got too far off and (Uehara) made a good throw and got me out. I'm aware of what's going on. I just got a little too far off and my back foot slipped out."

The pickoff left Carlos Beltran standing at home plate.

"I feel bad for the kid because I know he's trying to steal a base or put himself in a position where he can score," Beltran said. "He ended up being picked off first base. That has to be a bad feeling for him, but at the same time, I feel that the best way for us to pick him up is being able to come here tomorrow and get a win."

Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson's two-out double and Carpenter's RBI single in the seventh cut the Cardinals' deficit to 4-2. Robinson's double to left-center knocked out reliever Felix Doubront, who was replaced by Craig Breslow.

Carpenter foiled the strategy when he singled to right, enabling Robinson to score ahead of Daniel Nava's throw home.

Beltran then walked, and Junichi Tazawa relieved Breslow to face Matt Holliday, who grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cardinals threatened to further cut into Boston's lead in the eighth against John Lackey, a surprise reliever who was the Red Sox starter in Game 2 on Thursday.

With one out, Yadier Molina grounded to third baseman Xander Bogaerts, who dived to his right to smother the ball. But Bogaerts rushed a throw to first that went wide, allowing Molina to reach second. A wild pitch sent Molina to third.

Jon Jay, however, popped out to shortstop and David Freese grounded out to short as the Red Sox maintained their two-run lead. The Cardinals were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Struggling Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew had a fifth-inning sacrifice fly that tied the game at 1.

Ortiz, who was 3-for-3 and is 8-for-11 (.727) in the series, led off with a double to right-center against Lynn, who walked the next two batters, Gomes and Bogaerts, to load the bases.

Drew flied to left fielder Holliday near the line, but Holliday's throw to the plate hit Ortiz and rolled away.

Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has been battling arm fatigue, allowed one run (unearned) on three hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out two, giving way to Doubront in the fifth.

Doubront, the winning pitcher, worked a perfect fifth and sixth, recording three strikeouts, before allowing Robinson's double.

Beltran's third-inning single scored Carpenter to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

With one out, Carpenter grounded a single to right-center against Buchholz. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury bobbled the ball, allowing Carpenter to take second. Beltran followed with his single to right-center to plate Carpenter.

Beltran has 14 postseason RBIs and is 8-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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