USA Today Sports
ST. LOUIS -- Looking for ways to put runners on base for the bigger bats in his lineup to drive in, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny shuffled his lineup around. In the most significant switch, he moved Carlos Beltran from the two hole to the clean up spot.
Shane Robinson will replace Jon Jay in centerfield and hit second. Matt Adams was dropped from the cleanup spot to sixth.
"We're trying to do some things in our lineup," Matheny said. "We take everything into consideration and realize that trying to get some more depth. Also trying to get more traffic for the guys that can drive in runs."
Run production from the cleanup spot has been an issue for the Cardinals with Matt Adams going 3 for 17 with no RBIs and a double as his only base hit.
Beltran is hitting .273 in the series with two RBIs and two walks. Of his 14 plate appearances so far, only three have come with runners in scoring position.
In the regular season, Beltran had 84 at-bats in cleanup duty, hitting .226 with 13 RBIs.
Down two with two outs in the ninth inning last night, Beltran had the bat taken out of his hands when pinch runner Kolten Wong was picked off at first to end the game and seal the win for the Red Sox.
Robinson is 2 for 5 in the series and 5 for 13 in the postseason overall. He pinch hit for Lance Lynn in the seventh inning last night, lacing a double and then scoring on a Matt Carpenter single.
"Shane has been doing a nice job taking good at bats," Matheny said. "Gives him an opportunity with Carp to really set the table and lengthen out our lineup through the middle."
Other Cardinals notes:
• The only certainty going forward in terms of the Cardinals pitching rotation is that Michael Wacha will start Game 6.
After that, the statuses of Game 3 starter Joe Kelly and Game 4 starter Lance Lynn is up in the air, Matheny said
"We'll have to see how Joe and how Lance respond, how they feel before we can make any kind of comment about where they'll be used," Matheny said.
• Getting picked off and costing his team a chance to possibly come back last night weighed on Wong so heavily that he tweeted an apology to Cardinals fans after the game.
While he acknowledged how bad of a mistake it was, Matheny said teammates were there to support Wong afterward.
"Fortunately we have a good group of guys around here," Matheny said. "We've talked about how they've helped these guys and prepared them. They've also helped him through troubles because they've been there. Maybe not getting picked off to end a game in the World Series, but they've had their issues that we've all had, decisions that we've made that didn't necessarily work out. And you figure out how to get through it.
"But there's nothing wrong with sitting on it for a while, too, and that's what he was doing last night. I think that's healthy. You realize and you go back through your mind and you figure out what happened and what you'd like to have done differently, and then you learn from it and you move on, and by the time you get to the park today, you put it in the archives and you move forward. That's where Kolten is today. He had the veterans talking to him and encouraging him and giving him their own stories of things that they learned from."
• Limited to pinch-hitting the past two games, Allen Craig will be available to DH when the series swings back to Boston.
Matheny said that physically, Craig is doing better than they expected after scoring the chaotic, winning run on an obstruction call in Game 3. He's led all Cardinals hitters with a .444 average (4 for 9) in the series.
"He was actually going to get a little bit more work today," Matheny said. "We ended up kind of holding back on him, making sure he's going to be ready to DH those games. But, yeah, he felt better yesterday, much better than what he thought he was going to feel, and even better today. So that's continued to move forward."
• Matheny was asked, jokingly, how big the fine would be for throwing a strike to David Ortiz. He said, "No fine process in place, but obviously we're talking about a very hot hitter, who is a good hitter. And he's making it tough for us to figure out how to get him out, that's for sure."