ST. LOUIS — Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wanted Allen Craig’s bat in the lineup, but not at the expense of his health.
The wisest decision, Matheny figured, was to leave his slugger out of the starting lineup.
But if there came a moment when the Cardinals could use his bat late in the game in a pinch-hit situation, Matheny said he would do it.
That moment came with one out in the bottom of the ninth, with Yadier Molina on first and the Cardinals locked in a 4-4 tie Red Sox.
Craig ripped a double, sending Molina to third.
Craig scored the winning run on an obstruction call on Will Middlebrooks after Molina was gunned down at the plate on a force out. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.