Jonny Gomes hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday. With the win, the Red Sox evened the best-of-seven series, 2-2.
After Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed a base hit to Dustin Pedroia and a walk to David Ortiz with two outs in the inning, manager Mike Matheny elected to go to reliever Seth Maness, who had not given up an earned run in 3⅔ postseason innings but allowed inherited runners to score in four of his seven appearances. Maness left a 2-2 sinker up in the zone to Gomes, who appeared to have a pretty good idea that the ball was leaving the park as soon as he hit it.
Gomes, who was 0-for-9 in the series and 5-for-41 in the postseason entering Game 4, was a late addition to the lineup after the Red Sox scratched Shane Victorino with lower back soreness.
The Cardinals couldn't do much offensively against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz despite a concerning drop in velocity from the 29-year-old right-hander. St. Louis created traffic on the basepaths with three hits and three walks in four innings against Buchholz, but Carlos Beltran's third-inning single to plate Matt Carpenter, who was in scoring position because of an error by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, represented the Cards' lone run until the seventh inning.
Boston tied the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Stephen Drew, and good relief work from Felix Doubront gave the offense the opportunity to provide the big blow an inning later. Doubront was perfect in 2⅔ innings of relief before surrendering a two-out double to Shane Robinson in the seventh. Struggling reliever Craig Breslow allowed Robinson to score on a single by Matt Carpenter and walked Carlos Beltran before departing in favor of Junichi Tazawa, who retired Matt Holliday to preserve a two-run lead.
Breslow has allowed four inherited runners to score and has been charged with three runs of his own in three World Series appearances. He has recorded only one out in those three games.
The Cardinals threatened again an inning later when Yadier Molina reached on a throwing error with one out against John Lackey, who was making his first relief appearance in nine years. Molina advanced to third base but was stranded there as Lackey retired Jon Jay and David Freese to end the inning.
St. Louis made one more effort to mount a comeback with one out in the ninth inning against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara when pinch-hitter Allen Craig smacked a long single off the base of the right field wall. The injured slugger was lifted for pinch-runner Kolten Wong, who was picked off at first base by Uehara to end the game.
Gomes finished 1-for-2 with the huge home run and a pair of walks. Ortiz led all players with three hits and scored a pair of runs. He's hitting .727 in the series.