Red Sox-Cardinals Live: Kolten Wong Homers Twice As Cards Drop Sox 5-2

Xander BogaertsFinal, Cardinals 5-2: Pat Neshek recorded the final three outs. The Cardinals end up taking two of three from the Red Sox.

The Cardinals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Kolten Wong homered twice.

Boston struck for two runs in the third inning on a pair of RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Christian Vazquez. Wong’s two solo blasts — one in the fifth and one in the seventh — gave St. Louis some breathing room.

Adam Wainwright earned his 14th win of the season. The Cardinals ace lasted seven innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking two.

Brandon Workman, who really struggled out of the gate following a one hour, four minute rain delay, allowed four earned runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.

Eight players produced one hit for Boston. No one produced more than one knock. The Red Sox went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

The Red Sox will travel to Los Angeles for three games against the Angels. That means some late nights, Sox fans. Get your rest in now.

End 8th, Cardinals 5-2: Dustin Pedroia was voted the best defensive second baseman in the American League, according to Baseball America’s 2014 “Best Tools” list, which was released earlier this week.

Makes sense.

Pedroia continues to be as sure-handed as they come. He handled Oscar Taveras’ grounder for the final out of the eighth inning.

Lefty Tommy Layne worked a 1-2-3 eighth.

Mid 8th, Cardinals 5-2: Xander Bogaerts certainly excels at Busch Stadium.

Bogaerts, who produced some big hits in St. Louis during last year’s World Series, lined a double over the head of center fielder Jon Jay in the eighth inning.

The hit came against Kevin Siegrist, who took over after seven innings from Adam Wainwright. Wainwright allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking two.

Siegrist struck out Christian Vazquez for the second out of the eighth, setting up a battle with David Ortiz, who pinch-hit for the pitcher. Ortiz was scratched during the rain delay before the game because of the wet conditions.

Ortiz lined out to left field to end the inning.

End 7th, Cardinals 5-2: It’s been a bad season for Craig Breslow.

Breslow surrendered a solo homer to Kolten Wong in the seventh inning. The left-hander has allowed a home run in each of his last three outings. He has given up six this season, doubling his total from 2013.

Wong’s blast was his second of the game and ninth of the season. He also went deep in the fifth inning.

Burke Badenhop retired Matt Holliday to end the seventh inning.

Mid 7th, Cardinals 4-2: Adam Wainwright rewarded his skipper’s faith.

The Red Sox threatened in the seventh inning. Daniel Nava, batting for the first time, pulled a single through the right side. Dustin Pedroia walked with two outs.

It looked like Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was going to take the ball from Wainwright after Pedroia’s walk. Matheny stuck with his ace, however, and the right-hander closed off the inning with a big strikeout.

Wainwright fell behind in the count 3-0 to Yoenis Cespedes. He battled back and froze Cespedes with a 3-2 curveball on the outside corner.

Wainwright and catcher Tony Cruz both pumped their fists while returning to the dugout.

End 6th, Cardinals 4-2: A one-out single knocked Brandon Workman from the game in the sixth inning.

Jhonny Peralta, who drilled a two-run double back in the first inning, collected his second hit of the contest before John Farrell turned to his bullpen.

Craig Breslow entered as part of a double-switch. Brock Holt shifted to center field. Daniel Nava entered the game in right field with Jackie Bradley Jr. exiting.

Jon Jay singled off Breslow with two outs, but the left-hander took care of Tony Cruz to end the inning.

Mid 6th, Cardinals 4-2: Adam Wainwright is in a groove.

Wainwright now has retired 10 in a row after spinning a 1-2-3 sixth inning. It’s been a big turnaround for the Cardinals, who briefly saw their lead dwindle in the third inning.

Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. were brushed aside in the sixth. Vazquez struck out, giving Wainwright six K’s for the contest.

Brandon Workman will come back out to begin the bottom of the sixth.

End 5th, Cardinals 4-2: Brandon Workman had retired nine in a row until Kolten Wong dug in.

Wong ripped a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence in the fifth inning for his eighth home run of the season.

Workman struck out Adam Wainwright and retired Matt Carpenter on a little blooper into shallow center field before surrendering the two-out long ball to Wong.

Matt Holliday flied out for the inning’s final out.

Mid 5th, Cardinals 3-2: Quick and painless fifth inning for Adam Wainwright.

Dustin Pedroia grounded to short. Yoenis Cespedes and Mike Napoli both took aim at Matt Holliday in left field.

Wainwright has thrown 84 pitches through five frames.

End 4th, Cardinals 3-2: Brandon Workman is finding a rhythm.

Workman tossed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. Oscar Taveras, Jon Jay and Tony Cruz couldn’t get anything going.

Workman struck out Taveras to begin the inning. Jay grounded to second base and Cruz popped out behind the plate.

Christian Vazquez nearly ran out of real estate before putting away Cruz.

Mid 4th, Cardinals 3-2: Adam Wainwright bounced back in the fourth inning.

Will Middlebrooks, Brandon Workman and Brock Holt went down in order.

Pitcher Joe Kelly looked rather comfortable in the batter’s box Wednesday. Even Rubby De La Rosa didn’t look too shabby Tuesday. The same can’t be said for Workman.

End 3rd, Cardinals 3-2: Brandon Workman tossed a 1-2-3 third inning.

Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta scattered a couple of flyouts. Matt Adams struck out.

Workman is showing signs of settling in after a very rough first inning pushed him to the brink.

Workman has thrown 62 pitches (38 strikes) thus far.

Mid 3rd, Cardinals 3-2: Mike Napoli wasn’t even in the Red Sox’s original starting lineup, yet he knocked in Boston’s first run.

The Red Sox produced four singles in the third inning. Six of the first 15 hitters reached base against Adam Wainwright, which is rather impressive given the pitcher’s stature.

Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia led off with a pair of base hits. Wainwright retired Yoenis Cespedes on a fly ball to right field, but Napoli singled into center field to drive in Holt. Pedroia went from first to third.

Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging, marking his second K of the game.

Christian Vazquez capped a good battle with an RBI single to cut St. Louis’ lead to one run.

End 2nd, Cardinals 3-0: The Cardinals continued to be aggressive on the bases in the second inning. Catcher Christian Vazquez was having none of it.

Brandon Workman walked Matt Carpenter for the second time after Adam Wainwright struck out looking. Carpenter attempted to swipe second base on a 2-0 pitch, but Vazquez fired down in time to nab the Cardinals infielder. It wasn’t a perfect throw, and Xander Bogaerts deserves a lot of credit for coming off the bag to make a nice play.

Kolten Wong flied out to Brock Holt in right field to end the inning.

Mid 2nd, Cardinals 3-0: Will Middlebrooks’ two-out double went for naught.

Adam Wainwright started his second inning by retiring Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley struck out looking on a cutter on the outside corner, making him 0 for his last 25.

Middlebrooks showed a good piece of hitting by inside-outing an 0-2 offering into the right field corner.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, pitcher Brandon Workman waited on deck. Wainwright easily disposed of Workman on four pitches.

End 1st, Cardinals 3-0: The rain delay seemed to impact Brandon Workman. The right-hander threw 33 pitches as the Cardinals posted three first-inning runs.

The first two hitters of the inning reached against Workman. Matt Carpenter walked and Kolten Wong singled into left field.

Carpenter and Wong both advanced a station with one out via a double steal. Catcher Christian Vazquez had no chance to even attempt a throw, as the steals were executed off Workman’s slow delivery.

Workman struck out Matt Adams, but the Cardinals produced three straight two-out hits before the inning ended.

Jhonny Peralta put St. Louis on the scoreboard with a two-run double into the right-center field gap. Oscar Taveras followed with an RBI single into right field that plated Peralta from second base.

The Cardinals clearly plan to be aggressive on the bases. Taveras took off with Jon Jay batting. Jay shot a sharp grounder right past shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who was running over to cover second base.

Workman avoided any additional damage by retiring Tony Cruz with runners at the corners. The Red Sox already have action in the bullpen, though. Heath Hembree, who was acquired in the Jake Peavy trade, started getting loose amid Workman’s struggles.

Mid 1st, 0-0: It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to squander a good scoring chance.

Dustin Pedroia walked and Yoenis Cespedes singled into left field with one out in the first inning. Adam Wainwright had some trouble commanding the strike zone, only throwing 10 of his 19 pitches for strikes.

Wainwright avoided damage, however, by retiring Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts with two men on base.

Napoli, a late addition to the lineup with David Ortiz scratched, flied out to center field. Bogaerts struck out swinging.

8:19 p.m.: Adam Wainwright misses up high with his first pitch.

We’re underway after a one hour, four minute rain delay.

8:11 p.m.: We’re minutes away from game time.

This apparently represents the window of opportunity as far as getting this game in. Hopefully, the weather cooperates once things start up, though, as sporadic delays obviously are detrimental to a pitching staff.

As a follow-up, David Ortiz indeed was scratched because of the wet conditions. He’s available off the bench.

7:36 p.m.: We have grounds crew movement to report. It appears this game will start up at 8:15 ET, weather permitting.

David Ortiz has been scratched from the Red Sox’s lineup. It’s unclear why at this point, but the wet conditions likely are a factor.

Mike Napoli will play first base and bat cleanup. Yoenis Cespedes will slide up into the No. 3 hole.

Here’s the new Red Sox lineup.

Boston Red Sox (50-63)
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Brandon Workman, RHP (1-4, 4.08 ERA)

6:59 p.m.: For the second straight night, we’ll have a rain delay.

The weather is pretty bad in St. Louis right now. The tarp is on the field. Forecasts show the rain could let up over the next hour or so.

Hang in there.

This rain delay is brought to you by L.L. Bean.

6:05 p.m.: The Red Sox made a roster move Thursday.

Kelly Johnson, who was acquired last week from the New York Yankees in exchange for shortstop Stephen Drew, has been activated from the 15-day disabled list. Johnson had been on the DL since July 23 because of a groin injury.

Mookie Betts was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after Wednesday’s game to make room for Johnson on Boston’s 25-man roster. Johnson, who can play first base, second base, third base and left field, will give the Red Sox an additional left-handed bat, essentially assuming the role vacated by Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment last week.

The Red Sox chose to option Betts so that the 21-year-old can receive everyday at-bats during a critical stage in his development.

6 p.m. ET: David Ortiz, who played first base in Tuesday’s series opener, was absent from Wednesday’s starting lineup, though he did pinch-hit — and was intentionally walked — in the ninth inning.

Ortiz will return to first base Thursday, which, of course, is a product of playing in a National League park without a designated hitter. Mike Napoli will sit in Ortiz’s absence.

Will Middlebrooks also will return to the starting lineup with Brock Holt shifting to right field. Daniel Nava will sit this one out as manager John Farrell continues to juggle his starting nine on a nightly basis.

Thursday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (50-63)
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Brandon Workman, RHP (1-4, 4.08 ERA)

St. Louis Cardinals (60-52)
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Kolten Wong, 2B
Matt Holliday, LF
Matt Adams, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Oscar Taveras, RF
Jon Jay, CF
Tony Cruz, C
Adam Wainwright, RHP (13-6, 2.26)

5:45 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals managed to dodge the rain drops Wednesday at Busch Stadium. The clubs could be forced to do the same Thursday.

The Red Sox and Cardinals started about an hour later than expected Wednesday because of a rain delay, and Thursday’s forecast in St. Louis doesn’t look too promising, either. Assuming Mother Nature cooperates, the series finale will feature a National League Cy Young candidate in Adam Wainwright going up against an up-and-coming hurler in Brandon Workman.

The Red Sox obviously have had a disappointing season, but their final 49 games represent way more than simply playing out the string. A lot of young players, like Workman, have an opportunity to carve out roles for 2015, when Boston — if you believe general manager Ben Cherington — is expected to contend.

Joe Kelly was excellent Wednesday in his Red Sox debut. He harnessed the emotions of facing his former team — and best friend Shelby Miller — to toss seven innings of one-run ball. Workman will need to provide a similar effort Thursday with Wainwright toeing the rubber for St. Louis.

Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET. Tune in on NESN and keep it right here with NESN.com throughout the evening for updates. That includes weather updates, though I’m certainly no meteorologist.

Yardbarker

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