Final, Cardinals 3-2: The Red Sox put up a fight, but they couldn’t rally after giving up a slim lead late in the game.
Cespedes started the ninth off by sneaking a single into center for his third hit of the night, but Nava, Bogaerts and Vazquez couldn’t move him, as they all flied out to the outfield. Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal earned his 36th save of the season.
Rubby De La Rosa put in a solid outing for the first time during an away game, but he didn’t factor into the decision. Tazawa took the loss.
The Sox had a chance to break the game open in the seventh, but a bad strike-three call to pinch-hitter Mike Napoli to end the inning really put a damper on their chances. Still, it was the bullpen who couldn’t hold down the lead.
Boston will look to finish out the series strong over the next two games, so stick with us. They’ll head back to the diamond at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, where starter Joe Kelly will be trying to earn the win over his old team.
End 8th, Cardinals 3-2: Junichi Tazawa put the Sox in need of a ninth-inning rally.
Pierzynski sent a line drive over the head of Bogaerts and into left for a two-out single, and Taveras singled into right-center field to put runners on the corners. Jay hit a broken-bat single into left to score Pierzynski.
Cespedes saved the day by grabbing a high fly ball off the bat of Shane Robinson to end the inning.
Mid 8th, 2-2: Right-hander Pat Neshek came in for the Cards, and he mesmerized the Sox with his sidearm delivery.
He sat down Holt, Pedroia and Ortiz in order, with Holt striking out for the third time tonight.
End 7th, 2-2: Left-hander Tommy Layne relieved De La Rosa on the mound, and the southpaw couldn’t get the job done
Outfielder Shane Robinson took a one-out walk pinch-hitting for Lynn. He fouled a ball off of Christian Vazquez’s right shoulder in the process, but Vazquez seemed to be alright.
Carpenter hit one to Ortiz, who touched first but couldn’t get Robinson at second in time. That very much worked against the Sox, as Wong hit a hard grounder to second in the next at-bat. Robinson just beat out the tag at home while Wong tagged up at second.
Burke Badenhop came in for Layne, and not only did he strike Holliday out, but he got him ejected, also. Holliday didn’t like the strike-three call, and the home plate umpire didn’t like his attitude when he slammed his bat to the ground.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox pulled ahead for the first time in this one.
Cespedes and Nava hit back-to-back singles to start the inning off, and Bogaerts successfully sacrifice bunted them into scoring position.
St. Louis opted to intentionally walk Vazquez to load the bases and take their chances with Middlebrooks. It would’ve been a great move on their part had Lynn not bobbled the grounder back to him. He was only able to get Middlebrooks out at first, and Cespedes scored.
Napoli pinch-hit for De La Rosa, and he went down looking at a ball that seemed to be just outside to end the inning. Napoli understandably was not happy with the call.
End 6th, 1-1: St. Louis looked to get something going in the sixth but came up short.
De La Rosa walked Peralta with two outs, and Pierzynski hit a single to left to put him in scoring position.
Taveras went down by way of the backwards K to end the threat, though.
Mid 6th, 1-1: The Sox couldn’t do anything with their second hit of the night.
Pedroia lined a two-out single out to left, but Ortiz hit one to shallow left for out No. 3.
End 5th, 1-1: Rubby De La Rosa settled down a bit this inning.
Jay grounded out to first on two pitches, and Lynn went down looking at three.
Dustin Pedroia almost made an incredible play on Carpenter’s single, but he bobbled the ball coming up from a diving stop and had no play. He got Carpenter back on the next play, though, when Wong grounded into a force out.
Mid 5th, 1-1: An uncharacteristic error by All-Star third baseman Matt Carpenter got the Sox on the board.
Daniel Nava should have grounded out to third, but Carpenter air-mailed the ball to Adams, and Nava took second.
Bogaerts advanced Nava to third on a soft groundout to third, and Vazquez once again showed his worth by driving him in on a sac fly to right.
Middlebrooks went down by way of the K to end the inning.
End 4th, Cardinals 1-0: De La Rosa started to unravel in the fourth, but only surrendered a run before getting himself out of a jam.
Holliday hit a one-out double to the gap in right-center, and Adams knocked him in with a broken-bat single to center.
De La Rosa issued back-to-back free passes to Peralta and Pierzynski to load the bases. Luckily, Taveras hit a sharp grounder back to the mound, for a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Lynn enjoyed his third 1-2-3 inning.
Pedroia lined out to right, while Ortiz and Cespedes both grounded out to second.
End 3rd, 0-0: De La Rosa has some pretty good friends behind him.
Jay hit a sharp grounder to short, but a diving Xander Bogaerts was able to make the bang-bang play. It was close, but the Cards elected not to challenge the call.
Lynn grounded out to first, and Carpenter flied out to left-center field.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: It’s proving to be a rubber match so far in St. Louis.
Will Middlebrooks and De La Rosa grounded out to Peralta and Lynn, respectively, and Holt went down swinging.
End 2nd, 0-0: De La Rosa wasn’t on the mound for long in the second.
Jhonny Peralta hit a leadoff single to shallow left-center, but old friend A.J. Pierzynski erased it by grounding into a double play.
Will Middlebrooks caught a fly ball from Taveras in foul territory for the final out.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The second inning got off to quite a strange start.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a first-pitch blooper to shallow right that Kolten Wong, Oscar Taveras and Jon Jay converged on and missed. It rolled over to the right-field line, where a fan interfered, and the umpires awarded Cespedes with a triple.
The Sox made a risky move, however, when they sent Cespedes home on a one-out single to third base by Xander Bogaerts. Carpenter threw him out at home by a mile.
Christian Vazquez ended the half-inning with a flyout to right field.
End 1st, 0-0: The Cards put a runner in scoring position, but Brock Holt made sure he didn’t cross home plate.
Matt Carpenter got things going with a stand-up, wall-ball double to Holt in center.
Matt Holliday knocked a high flyout to Holt with one out, and Carpenter advanced.
Matt Adams decided to keep Holt on his toes and hit one to center, as well, but Holt handled it for the final out of the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Lance Lynn set the Sox down in order, but it wasn’t exactly easy.
Dustin Pedroia put up a good fight with one out, working an eight-pitch full count before he hit one hard to third baseman Matt Carpenter, who made a nice diving play and nabbed Pedroia at first.
David Ortiz hit one deep to center fielder Jon Jay for out No. 3.
8:16 p.m.: Lance Lynn is in for a first-pitch strike, and the Sox are underway at Busch Stadium.
7:47 p.m.: The Boston Red Sox are headed to Busch Stadium on Tuesday to take on the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since the 2013 World Series, but the circumstances are quite different this time around.
The stakes are much higher for the Cards, who are fighting for first place in the National League Central with the Milwaukee Brewers. Meanwhile, the Sox are dwelling in the basement of the American League East.
Still, Red Sox starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa might have some extra motivation, as he is trying to prove he can pitch well outside of Fenway Park. He’s 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA in Boston compared to 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in away games.
De La Rosa also has some extra pressure to pitch well because he won’t have as much help offensively either. Outfielder Shane Victorino was shut down for the rest of the season Tuesday after undergoing back surgery, and the newly acquired Allen Craig hit the disabled list with an ankle injury.
Check out what both teams are working with in the lineups below, and stick with us when the first pitch rolls around at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Boston Red Sox (49-62)
Brock Holt, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Daniel Nava, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Christian Vazquez, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Rubby De La Rosa, RHP (3-4, 3.64 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals (59-51)
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
Lance Lynn, RHP (11-8, 2.98 ERA)
Photo via Lance Iversen/USA TODAY Sports Images