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WORLD SERIES WATCH: Cards cut it to 4-2 in 7th

Monday - 10/28/2013, 12:40am  ET

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A look at Game 4 of the World Series at Busch Stadium on Sunday night as the Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals:


CLOSING THE GAP: Matt Carpenter's run-scoring single off Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow cuts it to 4-2 in the seventh.

That was it, though. Junichi Tazawa retired Matt Holliday on a sharp grounder to end the inning. Holliday hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off Tazawa in a key situation Saturday night.


SIGH OF RELIEF: What a job by left-hander Felix Doubront in relief of Boston starter Clay Buchholz.

Doubront retired his first eight batters before Shane Robinson's pinch-hit double chased him in the seventh. The left-hander struck out three -- all looking -- in 2 2-3 innings. He stands to win if the rest of the Red Sox bullpen can hang on.

Normally a starter, Doubront was annoyed that he was left out of the playoff rotation. He also gave Boston two scoreless innings of relief Saturday night in Game 3.

Game 2 starter John Lackey, also slated to start Game 6, is warming up in the bullpen. This would probably be Lackey's regular throw day anyway, so perhaps manager John Farrell will use him to get to closer Koji Uehara.


SUPER SUB: A three-run homer by Jonny Gomes gives the Red Sox a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning as they try to tie the Series at two games apiece.

Turns out, Shane Victorino's stiff lower back was a stroke of luck for Boston. Gomes wasn't even in the lineup until Victorino was pulled about 75 minutes before the first pitch.

Pretty good late addition.

As he headed back to the dugout, a couple of Red Sox gave a good tug on Gomes' ample beard. Mike Napoli went with a hard, two-handed yank that had to hurt.

Gomes was 0 for 9 in the Series before connecting and 5 for 41 in his postseason career. He connected off reliever Seth Maness, a sinkerball specialist who left a 2-2 pitch up in the strike zone.

Gomes didn't miss it, and Maness hung his head after watching the ball sail out to left.


TIED UP: Cardinals starter Lance Lynn had faced the minimum through four innings before David Ortiz opened the fifth with a double.

That got the Red Sox going. Gomes worked a 10-pitch walk and rookie Xander Bogaerts walked to load the bases. Ortiz scored on a sacrifice fly by slumping Stephen Drew, tying it at 1.

But that was it for Boston. David Ross struck out and pinch-hitter Mike Carp, batting for Buchholz, grounded out.

A fired-up Lynn yelled in excitement and did a little shimmy-shake as he headed back to the dugout.

Doubront replaces Buchholz in the fifth and struck out two in an impressive inning. Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday both go down looking.

Doubront is pitching on consecutive days for the fourth time in his major league career. The last time was Sept. 19-20, 2011.

Considering he's not fully healthy and his velocity was down, the Red Sox have to be pretty pleased with four innings from Buchholz and no earned runs allowed.


SCORING FIRST: St. Louis takes advantage of an error by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to score an unearned run in the third inning for a 1-0 lead.

Carlos Beltran -- who else in October? -- knocks in Carpenter with a single. That makes Beltran 8 for 10 with runners in scoring position this postseason.

The Cardinals are 8-0 when scoring first this postseason.


FINDING A WAY: It's evident Buchholz is missing his best stuff. Not a surprise. The velocity on his fastball is down about 3-4 mph from his average heater this season.

But he's thrown a couple of pretty good breaking balls -- and what he does have tonight is an effective two-seam fastball. It's sinking well and running away from left-handed hitters. If he can harness his two-seamer and work off that, maybe Buchholz can induce a steady stream of grounders keep the Cardinals at bay for a while.

Interesting challenge for him -- finding a way to hang in there without his regular weapons. This is not a guy who has a reputation for mental toughness.

After he opened 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season, Buchholz was selected to the AL All-Star team. But he missed the next three months, longer than expected, with a strained neck. That led to his toughness being questioned, and Buchholz was aware of the criticism.

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