Unlike on Wednesday when they took a lead in the ninth and held on, the Red Sox were unable to overcome an early deficit to the Cardinals and left St. Louis with their second loss to the Redbirds in three games, falling 5-2.
Adam Wainwright earned the win, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Brandon Workman took his fifth straight loss, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
St. Louis took a two-run lead with two outs in the fifth as Kolten Wong took Workman deep for a solo shot to make it 4-2. Wong made it 5-2 with another solo home run in the bottom of the seventh off of Craig Breslow.
The Sox got on the board in the top of the third, as Mike Napoli singled up the middle with one out to score Brock Holt from second and advance Dustin Pedroia to third. Christian Vazquez later knocked home another with two out as his single to center scored Pedroia and made it a one-run game.
The Cardinals scored first for the third straight game after Jhonny Peralta laced a 1-1 fastball from Workman to the gap in right center, scoring Matt Carpenter and Wong to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead in the first.. Oscar Tavares then made it 3-0 by taking a 2-2 pitch to right that scored Peralta from second.
For the second straight night, the game started over an hour after it was scheduled to due to rain at Busch Stadium.
MVP: Kolten Wong
Wong led the Cardinals offense on Thursday, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two solo home runs that ended any chance of a Red Sox comeback. After Wong was on the wrong side of history last October, when he became the first player to ever be picked off to end a playoff game, he had the last laugh against the Red Sox this week as his Cardinals look poised for another pennant run and the Sox are sinking to the basement of the American League.
GOAT: Brandon Workman
Workman had another poor outing in what has become a disturbing trend for the righthander, as he gave up four or more runs for the fifth straight start. He settled down after a rough first inning, but the three St. Louis runs he gave up in that frame proved to be the difference in the Sox dropping the game.
ICYMI: After the Red Sox made it a one-run game, Kolten Wong hit solo home runs in the fifth and the seventh to put the Cardinals back up by three, more than enough for the St. Louis bullpen to hold off the Sox and secure the win.
QUOTE OF THE GAME:
Farrell and Workman both cited trouble w/ early hole we dug ourselves. JF: "Opportunities created, but Waino made some key pitches w/ RISP."— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 8, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: With his hit in the first inning on Wednesday, Yoenis Cespedes improved to 5-for-9 in the three games in St. Louis. He went hitless the rest of the night, however, including striking out after going ahead 3-0 on Adam Wainwright in the top of the seventh…Brandon Workman lost his fifth straight game after no losing any of his first five starts of this season...Workman has allowed four or more runs in his last five starts after not allowing more than three in any of his first five.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox fell to 50-64, tying their season-low 14 games under .500 mark they set after Tuesday’s loss. They are 15 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East, while also sitting five games behind the Rays for last place in the division. Only five games separate the Sox from dead last in the American League, the spot currently occupied by the Texas Rangers.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Red Sox head west for a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels starting on Friday. Allen Webster is scheduled to pitch for the Red Sox, sitting at 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this year. He was wild in his last outing on Aug. 2 against the Yankees, walking six batters – including five in the third inning alone – before being pulled after just 2 2/3 innings.
Jered Weaver is slated to start for the Angels, holding a 12-6 record with a 3.59 ERA in 24 starts. He pitched well in his last start, going six innings against the Rays on Aug. 3, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.