Cardinals happy to head home even

Cardinals happy to head home even
October 25, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON – Earning a split of the first two games of the World Series, with a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox in Game 2 Thursday night at Fenway Park,  the Cardinals return home for three games at Busch Stadium, where they were 54-27, a .667 winning percentage, in the regular season.
 
“Excited to get home,” said manager Mike Matheny. “I know everybody is. Being able to take the World Series back to St. Louis and have our home fan base supporting us.  It meant a lot to be able to play here in Fenway.  It's a pretty unique experience for a lot of guys that have never played here before to be able to do it on this stage.  But there's no place like home, there's no doubt about it.”
 
“We feel confident and feel good about ourselves because we know how well we play at home,” said the Cards' Carlos Beltran. “And having the fans on your side is a big factor.  It's like Boston playing here.  It's kind of hard to play here when you play on the road, and you're playing against everything, the whole team, the fans, everybody.  Even though you have to go out and perform and execute and find a way to play good baseball, but it's comfortable for us to go back home.”
 
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Until shortly before game time, there was no guarantee that Beltran would be in the starting lineup. He left Game 1 – the first World Series game in his 16-season career – after the second inning with a right rib contusion, after banging into the bullpen wall pulling in David Ortiz’s drive with a highlight-reel catch. Beltran’s catch reduced Ortiz’s blast from what would have been a grand slam to a sacrifice fly.
 
Beltran, playing right field, went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
 
“Tomorrow I know for sure I'm going to wake up feeling sore,” he said. “Basically they gave me an injection [of Toradol]  to kind of block the pain for five hours or six hours.  I know for sure tomorrow I'm going to feel sore.  The good thing is tomorrow I have the day off, and I've got the opportunity to get treatment, and hopefully Saturday I feel better than what I feel today.”
 
After the injury, he wasn’t sure he’d be playing again in the Series.
 
“[Wednesday] I left the ballpark wondering what was going to happen, because the pain that I was feeling was so bad that I couldn't be back in the game,” Beltran said. “ So thank God the news that I received was encouraging because everything was negative.  And all I had was a big bruise on my chest.  I knew that I was going to be able to play, but I didn't know it was going to be that fast.”
 
Beltran was asked if he would have played had this been a regular season game.
 
“Why do you guys always ask those questions?” he said, laughing. “Well, you know what, I would say that as a player, I'm always going to come to the ballpark to prepare myself to play the game.  At the end of the day I believe that being in the regular season, that the manager is going to be more cautious and probably give me the day.  But if he let me choose, I always would love to choose to play because that's what I love to do.”
 
 
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Rookie right-hander Michael Wacha earned the win, improving to 4-0 this postseason. He went six innings, giving up two runs on three hits with four walks, six strikeouts, and a home run. In 27 postseason innings, he has given up just three runs, a 1.00 ERA, with 28 strikeouts.
 
“Credit to their lineup; they battled me all night,” Wacha said. “They weren't swinging down in the zone that I usually get swings at.  They made me work out there.  Got my pitch count up a lot higher than I wanted it to be.  But I had to go out and battle and let my defense work behind me.  They made great plays and got me out of innings pretty smoothly.”
 
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Of the 55 previous time a World Series has been tied, 1-1, the winner of Game 2 has gone on to win the Series 29 times, or 52.7 percent.  But, that has been the case in just two of eight seasons since 1993, with the Angels in 2002 and Yankees in 2009.

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This was the first time the Cardinals have beaten the Red Sox in a World Series game since Game 7 of the 1967 Series. The Sox swept the Cards in their only other meeting, in 2004.

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The wins marked the Cardinals first Game 2 win in the World Series since 1985 over the Royals, snapping a four-game Game 2 losing streak in the World Series, including 1987, 2004, 2006, and 2011...The Cards got on the board first, with a run in the fourth. They have not lost a game in this postseason when scoring first, improving to 7-0 in such situations. They are 1-5 when their opponent scores first.

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Yadier Molina went 1-for-4 with an RBI. He has recorded a hit in five straight World Series games since Game 5 of 2011. He is batting .421, going 8-for-19 with six RBI in that stretch.  Overall, he is batting .327, going 17-for-52, with four doubles, four runs scored, and 11 RBI in 17 career World Series games...Matt Holliday tripled to lead off the fourth, his first postseason triple in his 55th game...Holliday later scored, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, their first lead over the Sox in a World Series game since 1967.