Final, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox held on despite some tense moments in the ninth inning.
Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras singled off Koji Uehara, creating a big showdown between the Red Sox closer and Tuesday’s hero, Jon Jay. Jay grounded to second base, where Dustin Pedroia made the play and flipped to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for a game-ending forceout.
Bogaerts drove in both of Boston’s runs. He doubled in the fourth inning, and then delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth inning after Yoenis Cespedes and Mike Napoli set the table with a single and a double, respectively.
Joe Kelly didn’t factor into the decision but pitched well in his Red Sox debut. He lasted seven innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks while striking out two. Kelly threw 97 pitches (53 strikes).
The Red Sox will have a chance to win the series in Thursday’s finale.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox’s offense broke through against Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.
Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single into left-center field. Cespedes reached out and hooked a 1-2 changeup located about ankle-high.
Mike Napoli followed with a line drive down the right field line. Napoli cruised into second base while Cespedes was held at third with no outs.
David Ortiz pinch-hit for Daniel Nava and immediately was walked to load the bases. Jackie Bradley Jr. pinch-ran for Ortiz.
Xander Bogaerts, who knocked in Boston’s first run in the fourth inning, gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
Napoli and Bradley both tagged up on Bogaerts’ sac fly, pulling the Cardinals’ infield in with Christian Vazquez coming up. Vazquez grounded to the left side, where Jhonny Peralta made the play and fired home to nab Napoli, who was off on contact.
Mookie Betts lined to center field to end the inning.
Koji Uehara will enter with Boston leading by a run.
End 8th, 1-1: Junichi Tazawa pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Tazawa struck out Matt Carpenter for the first out.
Kolten Wong and Matt Holliday scattered a pair of flyouts to left field and right field, respectively.
Joe Kelly lasted seven innings in his Red Sox debut. He allowed one earned run — it came in the first inning — on three hits. The right-hander matched a season-high with four walks but settled down nicely, recording some big outs when necessary. Kelly recorded two strikeouts.
The Cardinals will turn to their closer, Trevor Rosenthal, with the score still tied at one apiece.
Yoenis Cespedes, Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava are due up in the ninth inning for the Red Sox.
Mid 8th, 1-1: The top of the eighth inning included a curious move by the Red Sox.
Mookie Betts led off with an infield single. He hit a sharp grounder to the right side that Matt Adams laid out for. Adams couldn’t make the play, as the ball deflected off his outstretched glove.
The strange play involved the Red Sox calling upon Will Middlebrooks to pinch-hit for pitcher Joe Kelly, only to then have Middlebrooks drop down a bunt.
Middlebrooks, who has two sacrifice bunts in his professional career, bunted the ball back to the mound. Reliever Sam Freeman wisely let it drop before tossing to second to wipe the speedy Betts off the bases.
The Red Sox would have been better off having Kelly — someone with plenty of bunting experience in the National League — stay in the game if a sacrifice was the desired outcome. Calling upon Middlebrooks would have made sense only if he was swinging away. Strange.
Brock Holt singled. The Cardinals then turned to Seth Maness, who retired Dustin Pedroia on a 1-6-3 double play.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston after seven innings from Joe Kelly.
End 7th, 1-1: Joe Kelly is through seven innings in his Red Sox debut.
Kelly has settled down nicely, making some key pitches along the way. He even flashed perhaps his best curveball in the seventh inning while striking out Jon Jay for the second out.
Dustin Pedroia made a nice backhanded play while ranging up the middle for the first out of the bottom of the seventh.
Shane Robinson, pinch-hitting for pitcher Shelby Miller, grounded to third base for the inning’s final out.
Sam Freeman will take over after seven solid frames from Miller.
Mid 7th, 1-1: Shelby Miller has retired 10 in a row.
Miller needed just six pitches to work a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Daniel Nava, Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez went down in order.
Miller is due up third in the bottom of the seventh. He has thrown 88 pitches, so we’ll see if Mike Matheny opts for a pinch-hitter.
End 6th, 1-1: Joe Kelly issued a leadoff walk for the second straight inning.
Kelly, who has managed to minimize the number of free passes allowed this year, now has four walks total in the contest, matching a season-high.
The big play of the sixth inning came when Jhonny Peralta hit a fly ball to deep left field. It looked like it had a chance to leave the yard, but Yoenis Cespedes raced back to make a catch on the warning back before banging into the wall.
Matt Holliday, who walked and took second base on Matt Adams’ groundout, was forced to retreat on Cespedes’ grab.
A.J. Pierzynski popped out to Brock Holt in foul territory along the third base line to end the inning.
Mid 6th, 1-1: Mike Napoli nearly gave the Red Sox the lead.
Shelby Miller retired Dustin Pedroia and Yoenis Cespedes to begin the sixth inning. Pedroia flied out to right field and Cespedes whiffed on some high heat.
Napoli then crushed a ball to the power alley in left-center field. Jon Jay ranged over to make the catch on the warning track.
End 5th, 1-1: Joe Kelly again was checked on before the bottom of the fifth inning. Clearly, the Red Sox are being cautious with Kelly after a fourth-inning comebacker drilled him in the leg.
Again, Kelly checked out OK. The right-hander stayed in for a scoreless fifth inning, though the Cardinals threatened.
Jon Jay worked a leadoff walk. He took second base on Shelby Miller’s sacrifice bunt and advanced to third base on Matt Carpenter’s groundout to first base.
Kelly escaped the inning by striking out Kolten Wong.
Mid 5th, 1-1: Very quick inning for Shelby Miller.
Miller handled Mookie Betts, Joe Kelly and Brock Holt in order.
The fact that Kelly stayed in the game for his at-bat is encouraging. Apparently, Oscar Taveras’ comebacker didn’t inflict too much physical harm, although Kelly’s leg probably won’t tickle in the morning.
End 4th, 1-1: The fourth inning ended in controversial fashion.
Joe Kelly recorded two quick outs. Jhonny Peralta and A.J. Pierzynski both grounded out as the right-hander sought his second straight 1-2-3 inning.
Kelly completed the 1-2-3 inning, but it wasn’t without some debate. Oscar Taveras hit a sharp grounder back to the mound that struck off Kelly’s knee and ricocheted toward the first base line. Kelly tracked it down and underhand flipped to first, at which point the ball hit Taveras.
The umpires ruled that Taveras ran inside the base path, meaning he was automatically out when the ball struck him. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wasn’t happy with the call, but it ended the inning despite Matheny’s brief argument.
Red Sox manager John Farrell also came out to check on Kelly, who was hit hard by Taveras’ comebacker. Kelly appeared to be OK, but it’s a situation worth monitoring.
Mid 4th, 1-1: Matt Holliday botched a fly ball in the fourth inning.
Xander Bogaerts was credited with an RBI double on a deep drive to left field. It certainly looked like a catchable ball, but Holliday simply couldn’t make the grab while backing into the left field fence.
Bogaerts’ two-out hit clanked off Holliday’s glove, allowing Daniel Nava to score from first base with the tying run. Nava had reached with a two-out single into right field.
Joe Kelly now heads back to the hill looking to build on his first 1-2-3 inning.
End 3rd, Cardinals 1-0: Joe Kelly tossed his first 1-2-3 inning in a Red Sox uniform in the third.
Kolten Wong, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams went down in order.
Brock Holt nearly botched Holliday’s ground ball to third but recovered in time for the second out.
Mid 3rd, Cardinals 1-0: Cardinals fans are showing some love.
Joe Kelly received another standing ovation before his first at-bat in the third inning. Clearly, the St. Louis crowd is appreciative of the pitcher’s short career with the Cards.
Kelly responded with a ground ball over the mound. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta charged it and fired to first base for a bang-bang play.
Kelly initially was called out. The Red Sox challenged the play, though, and the ruling on the field was overturned. Kelly wound up with an infield single, prompting some more cheers from the crowd.
Kelly’s hit was the only noise of the inning for Boston. Brock Holt grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Dustin Pedroia struck out looking.
End 2nd, Cardinals 1-0: Xander Bogaerts saved a run in the second inning.
Joe Kelly pitched his way into some trouble. A.J. Pierzynski singled into left field and Oscar Taveras walked on five pitches.
Jon Jay grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that changed the complexion of the inning. Kelly initially couldn’t take advantage of the situation, though.
Kelly inexplicably walked pitcher Shelby Miller on four pitches following Jay’s double play. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Bogaerts robbed Matt Carpenter on a ground ball up the middle for an inning-ending forceout.
Bogaerts has shown major improvement defensively since returning to his natural shortstop position.
Mid 2nd, Cardinals 1-0: The Red Sox stranded a runner at third base in the second inning.
Mike Napoli took a page out of Matt Carpenter’s first-inning book, hammering a leadoff double to put the wheels in motion. Unlike Carpenter’s double, however, Napoli’s knock fell short of paving the way for a run.
Napoli advanced to third base when Xander Bogaerts flied out to deep center field. Christian Vazquez then walked on six pitches after falling behind in the count 0-2.
Shelby Miller exited the inning by retiring Mookie Betts on a fly ball to right field.
End 1st, Cardinals 1-0: Joe Kelly had a forgettable first inning with the Red Sox.
Kelly surrendered a leadoff double to Matt Carpenter. Carpenter drilled a 2-1 fastball over Daniel Nava’s head in right field. Kelly threw four straight fastballs during the at-bat.
Kolten Wong followed with a ground ball to first base. Mike Napoli handled it cleanly, but Carpenter took third base.
Matt Holliday, who was ejected from Tuesday’s series opener, grounded to third base for the second out. Brock Holt made the play and looked Carpenter back before tossing across the diamond.
Kelly couldn’t escape the inning unscathed. Matt Adams yanked a single into right field to put the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
Kelly sat at around 93-94 mph with his fastball in the first inning. He topped out at 96 mph on the inning’s final pitch.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly are good friends. For the next few hours, however, they’re opponents.
Miller started his night with a 1-2-3 first inning. Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia and Yoenis Cespedes went down without a fight.
Holt grounded to first base after falling behind in the count 0-2. Pedroia popped out to his second base counterpart. Cespedes flied out to Oscar Taveras in right field.
Kelly now takes the mound for the first time in a Red Sox uniform.
9:18 p.m.: Shelby Miller tosses a first-pitch strike.
Finally, we have baseball.
It is, however, raining in St. Louis.
8:52 p.m.: The rain has subsided in St. Louis. There still are some lightning flashes, but the tarp is off the field at Busch Stadium.
According to the Cardinals, this game is expected to begin at 9:15 p.m. ET — weather permitting, of course.
8:15 p.m.: Unfortunately, this contest isn’t starting on time.
Boston and St. Louis are in a rain delay at Busch Stadium. Some ominous clouds rolled in prior to game time. The forecast doesn’t look so hot.
Stay tuned for updates.
This rain delay is brought to you by L.L. Bean.
7:14 p.m.: It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks for the Red Sox, who now feature a revamped roster.
Among the 25 players on Boston’s 2013 World Series roster, 12 no longer are with the team. Only 11 are active on the Red Sox’s current 25-man roster.
Want proof that the Red Sox are going young?
Since the start of the season, the average age of Boston’s active 25-man roster has decreased by three years — 31 to 28.
6:38 p.m.: Interleague play in National League ballparks always causes an interesting dilemma for the Red Sox, who, of course, have David Ortiz as their designated hitter. Ortiz played first base Tuesday in the absence of a DH, but he’ll sit Wednesday as Mike Napoli returns to his usual position after a night off.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will sit for a second consecutive game. Mookie Betts will patrol center field.
Brock Holt takes his talents to the infield. He’ll play third base while assuming his typical leadoff role.
Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (49-63)
Brock Holt, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Christian Vazquez, C
Mookie Betts, CF
Joe Kelly, RHP (0-0, — )
St. Louis Cardinals (60-51)
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Kolten Wong, 2B
Matt Holliday, LF
Matt Adams, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Oscar Taveras, RF
Jon Jay, CF
Shelby Miller, RHP (8-8, 4.14 ERA)
6:30 p.m. ET: Last season’s World Series teams clearly find themselves in much different places.
The Boston Red Sox approached last week’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline as sellers, while the St. Louis Cardinals aggressively sought to add pieces. The clubs’ paths crossed, however, as the Red Sox shipped pitcher John Lackey and minor league hurler Corey Littrell to the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig.
Craig’s tenure with the Sox already is off to an underwhelming start, with the slugger landing on the disabled list with an ankle injury after just one game in a Boston uniform. Kelly will look to kick off his time with the Red Sox in more impressive fashion, and the 26-year-old’s first opportunity comes Wednesday against his former team.
Kelly will take the mound in the middle game of a three-game series in St. Louis. The right-hander hasn’t enjoyed much success this season — 2-2 record and 4.37 ERA in seven starts with the Cardinals — but he posted a 10-5 record and a 2.69 ERA in 37 regular-season appearances (15 starts) in 2013. Clearly, there’s plenty of upside.
Kelly’s first start with the Red Sox will be extra special, too. Not only is he facing his former team — the team that drafted him in 2009 — but he’s also going up against the best man in his wedding, Shelby Miller.
Miller is loaded with potential despite having an up-and-down season. The 23-year-old was a first-round pick (19th overall) in 2009. He went 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts in 2013, resulting in a third-place finish in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
The Red Sox are optimistic that Kelly will become a core part of their rotation now and in the future. His first test should be an exciting one, so you’ll want to tune in on NESN and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.
Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.