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Gomes, Red Sox beat Cards 4-2 to even WS at 2-all

Monday - 10/28/2013, 4:30am  ET

redsox.jpg
Boston Red Sox's Koji Uehara, catcher David Ross and Mike Napoli (12) celebrate after Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in St. Louis. The Red Sox won 4-2 to ties the series at 2-2.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- There's no telling how these wacky World Series games will end.

One night after a rare obstruction call, this one finished with a pickoff play -- both firsts in postseason history. Oh, and Jonny Gomes hit a decisive, three-run homer when he wasn't even in the original lineup.

An entertaining, even goofy World Series is tied at two games apiece after the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Sunday, which ensured the title will be decided back at Fenway Park.

"What's going on inside here is pretty special, magical," Gomes said.

Inserted into the lineup about 75 minutes before gametime when Shane Victorino couldn't shake off a bad back, Gomes hit a tiebreaking shot off reliever Seth Maness in the sixth inning.

Felix Doubront and surprise reliever John Lackey, both starters during the regular season, picked up for a gritty Clay Buchholz to help the Red Sox hang on.

And of course, another bizarre ending: Koji Uehara picked off rookie pinch-runner Kolten Wong at first base for the final out -- with postseason star Carlos Beltran standing at the plate.

"I feel bad for the kid. I know he's trying to steal a base or put himself in a position where he can score," Beltran said. "But the best way for us to pick him up is to come here tomorrow and get a win."

Game 5 is Monday night at Busch Stadium, with Boston left-hander Jon Lester facing Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in a rematch of the opener, won 8-1 by the Red Sox.

No telling what's next.

Of the 1,404 postseason games in major league history, none had previously ended on an obstruction call or a pickoff, according to STATS.

"It was the first time for me to end a game like that as far as I can remember," Uehara said through a translator.

Wong's eyes were red from tears when he spoke after the game.

"I was ready to go from first to third with Carlos driving me in," he said. "Went to plant, and my back foot just came right out of me. From there, I was dead. I knew I was dead once it happened."

Gomes, a journeyman who first made it to the majors nearly nine months after a heart attack on Christmas Eve in 2002, arrived at Busch Stadium expecting to watch the game from the bench. Given his chance, he helped Boston get started in the fifth when he followed David Ortiz's leadoff double with a 10-pitch walk that wore down starter Lance Lynn, who had faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings.

Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly tied the score 1-all, erasing a deficit created when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's third-inning error advanced Matt Carpenter into scoring position for Beltran's RBI single.

Ortiz, who is 8 for 11 (.727) in the Series after a three-hit night, was Boston's leader, smacking his hands together and screaming at teammates to get going when he pulled into second base on his double. Then, after the fifth inning, he huddled the Red Sox for a pep talk in the dugout.

"Let's loosen up and let's try to play baseball the way we normally do," Ortiz remembered telling them. "I know we are a better team than what we had shown. Sometimes you get to this stage and you try to overdo things, and it doesn't work that way."

Message heard.

"It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher," Gomes said, "He got everyone's attention, and we looked him right in the eyes. That message was pretty powerful."

Not long after, Gomes' drive put Boston ahead 4-1.

With adrenaline taking over, Gomes spiked an arm through the air as he rounded first base, yelled and banged his chest with his right fist twice. Teammates tugged on Gomes' beard for good luck when he got back to the dugout, including a two-handed pull by Mike Napoli.

While talk of umpires' calls dominated discussion following two of the opening three games, this one turned on a manager's pregame decision.

John Farrell's original Red Sox lineup didn't include Gomes, but Victorino's back had been bothering him since Saturday, so Daniel Nava was moved from left field to right and from fifth to second in the batting order. Gomes was inserted into the No. 5 hole behind Ortiz.

"During batting practice, when I met with Shane today, he said, 'Yeah, put me in there. I'll find a way to get ready to start the game,'" Farrell said. "As we went through the other work, it became obvious he wasn't capable. And you know what? It turns out that his replacement is the difference in this one tonight."

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