Red Sox with strong opening statement, beat Cardinals 8-1 in Game 1

Nine years after sweeping the Cardinals in the World Series, the 2013 Red Sox picked up right where the 2004 group left off as they pounded St. Louis, 8-1, in Game 1 to take a 1-0 series lead Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

Game 1 was never seriously in doubt for the Sox past the first few innings as David Ortiz put the Cards to bed for the night with a blast over the Boston bullpen in the seventh inning. Ortiz’s fourth home run this postseason put the Red Sox up, 7-0.

The majority of the offensive action for Boston came straight out of the chute as, in the first inning, Ortiz hit a ball up the middle that should have wound up as an easy double play for St. Louis. Shortstop Peter Kozma flat-out dropped Matt Carpenter’s toss at second base, but a sliding Dustin Pedroia was called out by umpire Dana DeMuth. Red Sox manager John Farrell bolted out of the dugout and his arguing eventually paid off as the team of umpires agreed that DeMuth was in the wrong. The reversed call loaded the bases for Mike Napoli, who continued his hot streak and sent a ball shooting into the gap in left-center field. It reached the wall as Jacoby Ellsbury, Pedroia and Ortiz all scored to put the Sox up, 3-0, in the first.

The Red Sox tacked on a pair of runs off of Cards’ starter Adam Wainwright in the second as well, though the damage could have been much worse for St. Louis as Ortiz was inches away from another postseason grand slam. Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran, however, did what Detroit’s Torii Hunter could not do as he nonchalantly reached over the short Fenway fence with his glove and pulled back a would-be Ortiz homer. David Ross scored easily from third on the play but St. Louis escaped a situation which could have quickly escalated into an early blowout. Beltran did have to leave the game an inning later with a right rib contusion and it could prove to be a devastating blow to the Cardinals’ chances in this series if he misses even an inning more going forward.

Jon Lester was tremendous for the Red Sox, receiving a standing ovation from the fire marshall’s nightmare of a crowd at Fenway with two outs in the eighth inning. Lester wrapped things up having not allowed a run over 7.2 innings of work. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out eight on 112 pitches.

Wainwright ended his night having pitched 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked one on 95 pitches.

Game 2 is Thursday night, again at Fenway (8:07 p.m., FOX).

What they’ll be saying: The big news coming out of Game 1 was regarding the health of Beltran and the health of Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz. Beltran was hitting .337 in postseason play heading into the series and was one of the more potent bats in the Cards’ lineup. If he’s done, St. Louis is likely done.

If that’s the case, the status of Buchholz might not even matter. After a day of questioning, the Red Sox finally stated that Buchholz won’t start Game 3 Saturday in St. Louis as he is not “100 percent.” Jake Peavy will get the start Saturday for Boston. One would think if the Sox took the next two games that Buchholz would be held out of Game 4 as well as Boston would have a comfortable lead in the series. It also appears that they aren’t too confident in the righty right now as he has appeared shaky at times this postseason.

In the big picture, the Red Sox took a huge step forward in their quest to win the eighth title in franchise history. They outclassed St. Louis for much of the night and the early returns show that the Cards may not be able to match Boston’s offensive firepower – particularly if Ortiz and Napoli keep up this pace.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…