ST. LOUIS -- The Red Sox spotted the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the very first inning and being that they were facing Adam Wainwright, that proved too big an obstacle to overcome.
The Red Sox did manage two runs in the third off Wainwright, but never got any closer as St. Louis held off the Sox, 5-2 to win the three-game rematch of last year's World Series teams.
Brandon Workman needed 34 pitches to get through the first and yielded three straight two-out hits, including a two-run double to Jhonny Peralta and a ground single to right from Oscar Taveras which scored another run.
Workman pitched well the rest of the way, retiring 11 of 12 at one point. But he was tagged for a solo homer to Kolten Wong in the fifth, and after allowing a one-out single to Peralta in the sixth, was lifted for the night.
He suffered his fifth straight loss and hasn't posted a win since June 10.
After stranding two runners in the first and another in the second, the Red Sox broke through against Wainwright in the third.
Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia reached with singles and Mike Napoli and Christian Vazquez delivered them with RBI singles.
But after the third inning, the Red Sox offense was silenced as they collected just two hits over the final six innings.
Meanwhile, Wong hit his second homer of the game -- a solo shot off lefty Craig Breslow, who has now allowed a home run in each of his last three appearances.
STAR OF THE GAME: Adam Wainwright
The Cardinals' No. 1 starter was at the top of his game Thursday night, going seven innings while allowing just two runs. He fniished strong, allowing just two baserunners over his final four innings.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kolten Wong
Wong did it all, with a single and stolen base in the first inning and solo homers in both the fifth (off Brandon Workman) and seventh (off Craig Breslow) for his first multi-homer game in the big leagues.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Brandon Workman
After the first inning, Workman figured some things out and allowed just a single run over the final 4 1/3 innings. But the 3-0 hole he put the Sox in was too deep.
TURNING POINT: The Red Sox' last best chance to get back into this one came in the seventh when Daniel Nava reached on a pinch-hit single and one out later, Dustin Pedroia walked. But Wainwright got Yoenis Cespedes looking at a called third strike to end the threat.
BY THE NUMBERS: Workman allowed three runs or fewer in his first eight major league starts; in his last five starts, however, he's allowed at least four earned runs each time.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "I gave up a three-spot in the first and put our team behind the eight ball against a good pitcher. I threw well after that, but the first inning was enough." - Brandon Workman