ST. LOUIS -- A bullpen meltdown cost Rubby De La Rosa -- and the Red Sox -- a win in the opener of the team's eight-game road trip.
Tommy Layne allowed the tying run in the seventh and Junichi Tazawa was tagged for the go-ahead run in the eighth, wasting a strong effort by De La Rosa as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Red Sox 3-2.
De La Rosa allowed just one run over six innings and left with a 2-1 lead, but Layne issued a one-out walk and a run-scoring single to center by Kolton Wong.
Tazawa recorded the first two outs in the eighth, but then surrendered three straight singles, with former Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski crossing the plate with the eventual winning run on a bloop single to left by John Jay.
The Red Sox managed just five hits in losing for the third straight time and 11th time in the last 13 games.
Tied 1-1 in the seventh, the Red Sox pulled ahead when starter Lance Lynn bobbled a comebacker by Will Middlebrooks with the bases loaded. Had Lynn fielded the ball cleanly, the Cards had a chance at an inning-ending double play. Instead, Lynn had to settle for the out at first as Yoenis Cespedes crossed the plate.
The Red Sox took full advantage of an error by Matt Carpenter to pull even in the fifth. Carpenter threw wildly on a grounder to third by Daniel Nava, who ended up in scoring position with the overthrow.
One out later, Christian Vazquez delivered Nava with a sacrifice fly for his 10th RBI in 14 starts.
The Cardinals broke through first when Matt Holliday laced a double to the gap in right-center and scored on a single to center from Matt Adams.
De La Rosa then had some difficulty finding the plate, walking Jhonny Peralta and Pierzynski to load the bases.
But Oscar Tavares hit a soft comebacker to the mound that De La Rosa turned into a 1-2-3 double play, wiggling out of the bases-loaded mess he had created.
STAR OF THE GAME: Lance Lynn
The Cards starter went seven strong innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits.
HONORABLE MENTION: John Jay
It wasn't much of a hit but Jay's bloop single into shallow left was enough to deliver the winning run in the eighth.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Junichi Tazawa
Tazawa got the first two outs in the eighth quickly but then surrendered three straight hits that produced the winning run.
TURNING POINT: The Sox had the bases loaded in the top of the seventh with one out but managed just one when Will Middlebrooks hit a soft rapper to the mound. They managed a run but should have had more.
BY THE NUMBERS: In 14 starts in the big leagues, Christian Vazquez has knocked in 10 runs.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "I try to pitch the same everywhere." Rubby De La Rosa, who had pitched very well at home but came into Tuesday's start with a road ERA of 6.04 ERA.