Allen Craig was awarded home on an obstruction call with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday. The Cardinals lead the series, 2-1.
The Red Sox got the second out of the inning when Dustin Pedroia nabbed Yadier Molina at the plate, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia uncorked the ball down the left field line while trying to throw Allen Craig out at third. Will Middlebrooks, who wound up on the ground after making a diving effort to catch the throw, made contact with Craig on his way back to his feet, prompting third base umpire Jim Joyce to call obstruction.
Craig came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth reached base with a one-out double off of Red Sox closer Koji Uehara, who entered the game prior to that at-bat in relief of Brandon Workman.
It was a strange ending to a game that saw multiple lead changes. The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead after stringing together four base hits off of Red Sox starter Jake Peavy in the first inning. Boston fought back with runs in the fifth and sixth, both of which were charged to Cardinals starter Joe Kelly, who struck out six and walked three in 5⅓ innings.
Matt Holliday, who drove in one of the runs in the first, responded with a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh to put the Cardinals back in front, 4-2. Holliday's big hit came after Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow found himself in a quandary despite not allowing a ball to leave the infield. Matt Carpenter led off the inning with an infield single and Breslow grazed Carlos Beltran with a pitch in the next at-bat before being pulled in favor of Junichi Tazawa, who surrendered the double on a 1-1 forkball that was well below Holliday's knees.
The Sox bounced back again in the eighth, scoring a pair of runs with Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal on the mound after Carlos Martinez loaded the bases while recording only one out. Rosenthal was called upon by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny in the ninth, and he responded with a pair of strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning, giving his team a chance to win it in the bottom half of the inning.
Yadier Molina led all players with three hits. Holliday added a pair of hits and three RBI. Xander Bogaerts and Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits apiece for Boston.
Peavy lasted only four innings. He allowed six hits and notched four strikeouts. Peavy surrendered a pair of runs in the first but kept St. Louis off the board in the next three frames, including in the bottom of the fourth when the Cardinals had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to score.
The series resumes on Sunday with Game 4 in St. Louis. Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for Boston opposite Lance Lynn.