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Gas prices take a tumble in St. Louis

Monday, 28 October 2013 07:27 Published in Local News

The price of a gallon of regular gas has tumbled by double-digits in St. Louis this week.  

According to GasBuddy.com, the average gallon has fallen nearly 17 cents in the past week, averaging $2.94 a gallon on Sunday.  

GasBuddy.com conducts daily surveys of nearly one-thousand gas outlets in St. Louis.  

The national average has fallen about 6 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.30 per gallon of regular.

The price per gallon in St. Louis is about 20 cents lower than the same day one year ago and about 23 cents lower than one month ago. 

Gomes, Red Sox beat Cards 4-2 to even WS at 2-all

Sunday, 27 October 2013 23:09 Published in Sports

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jonny Gomes got the Red Sox even in this wild World Series, thanks partly to Shane Victorino's aching back.

Inserted into the lineup about 75 minutes before gametime, Gomes hit a three-run homer off reliever Seth Maness in the sixth inning that led Boston to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night, tying the Series at two games apiece.

Felix Doubront and surprise reliever John Lackey, both starters during the regular season, picked up for a gritty Clay Buchholz to help the Red Sox ensure the Series will return to Boston.

And one night after that game-ending obstruction call, another unusual ending. Koji Uehara picked off rookie pinch-runner Kolten Wong at first base for the final out - with postseason star Carlos Beltran standing at the plate.

Game 5 is Monday night at Busch Stadium, with Boston left-hander Jon Lester facing Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in a rematch of the opener won 8-1 by the Red Sox.

Gomes helped get Boston started in the fifth when he followed David Ortiz's leadoff double with a 10-pitch walk that tired starter Lance Lynn, who had faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings.

Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly tied the score 1-all, erasing a deficit created when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's third-inning error advanced Matt Carpenter into scoring position for Beltran's RBI single.

Ortiz, who homered in the first two games of the Series, had three of Boston's six hits and was the club's leader, smacking his hands together and screaming at teammates to get going when he pulled into second base on his double. Then, after the fifth inning, he huddled the Red Sox for a pep talk in the dugout.

Not long after, Gomes' drive put Boston ahead 4-1 in the sixth.

With adrenaline taking over, Gomes spiked an arm through the air as he rounded first base, yelled and banged his chest with a fist twice. Teammates tugged on Gomes' beard for good luck when he got back to the dugout, including a two-handed pull by Mike Napoli.

While talk of umpires' calls dominated discussion following two of the opening three games, this one turned on a manager's pregame decision.

John Farrell's original Red Sox lineup didn't include Gomes, but Victorino's back had been bothering him since Saturday, so Daniel Nava was moved from left field to right and from fifth to second in the batting order. Gomes was inserted into the No. 5 hole behind Ortiz.

Gomes had been 0 for 9 in the Series before the home run, and Red Sox outfielders had been 4 for 40 with no RBIs. Following Dustin Pedroia's two-out single and a four-pitch walk to Ortiz by Lynn, Maness threw five straight sliders to Gomes, who sent the last one into the Red Sox bullpen in left as Matt Holliday kept running back only to run out of room.

Carpenter singled in a run in the seventh off Craig Breslow in the seventh after pinch-hitter Shane Robinson doubled with two outs against Doubront on a ball that skidded away from Gomes. Junichi Tazawa came in and got Holliday to hit an inning-ending grounder to second, a night after allowing a tiebreaking, two-run double to Holliday.

Doubront got the win with 2 2-3 innings of one-hit relief. Lackey, the Game 2 loser and Boston's probable Game 6 starter, pitched the eighth for his first relief appearance in nine years, overcoming a two-base throwing error by third baseman Xander Bogaerts - Boston's seventh error of the Series - and a wild pitch.

With a runner on third, Lackey got Jon Jay to pop up and David Freese to ground out.

Uehara, Boston's sixth pitcher, got three outs for his sixth save this postseason, completing a six-hitter.

Lynn was the hard-luck loser, leaving with the score tied and two on for Maness, who allowed Gomes' homer on his fifth pitch.

A night after one of the craziest endings in Series history - an obstruction call on Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks - Boston ensured the Series will return to Fenway Park for Game 6 on Wednesday night.

It was a special anniversary for both teams. Exactly nine years earlier, the Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Cardinals across the street at old Busch Stadium for their first championship since 1918. And two years earlier, Freese hit a tying, two-run, two-out triple in the ninth against Texas and a winning homer in the 11th to force a Game 7, which St. Louis won the following night.

Buchholz, in his first appearance since the AL championship series finale on Oct. 19, fought through shoulder issues and his velocity topped out at 90 mph. He lasted a season-low four innings and 66 pitches before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter, but he allowed just an unearned run and three hits.

Fielding for the Red Sox became trouble again in the third when Carpenter singled to center with one out, and the ball appeared to take a high hop and roll away from Ellsbury. Carpenter sprinted to second on the second error of the Series by Ellsbury - who had just three during the regular season.

Beltran singled into center field two pitches later, making him 8 for 10 with 12 RBIs with runners in scoring position during the postseason.

There almost was another miscue in the fourth following a one-out walk to Jay. Freese bounced to Drew, and the shortstop grabbed the grounder on the run and flipped the ball with his glove high to Pedroia at second. He jumped and just got his left foot down in time to force Jay, who slid into him hard.

After Ortiz's double to the right-center field wall in the fifth, Gomes fell behind 0-2 in the count and then worked out his walk. Lynn appeared to be too fine with his pitches as he walked rookie Bogaerts, loading the bases, and Drew lofted a fly to medium left near the foul line.

Holliday's one-hop throw home hit the sliding Ortiz in the back and bounced away. Lynn recovered to strike out David Ross and induce an inning-ending groundout from pinch-hitter Mike Carp.

 

NOTES: St. Louis had been 8-0 this postseason when scoring first. ... Molina extended his Series hitting streak to seven games. ... Holliday argued with plate umpire Paul Emmel after he was called out on strikes in the fifth, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny came on the field to make sure his left fielder didn't get ejected.

Obstruction call gives Cardinals 5-4 win in Game 3

Saturday, 26 October 2013 23:57 Published in Sports

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Allen Craig slid home and it sure looked as though he was out.

Didn't matter.

A rare obstruction call by an umpire let Craig score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, finishing off a mad-cap play that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Saturday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

It was as crazy an ending in a World Series game as anyone had seen, and created a wild scene at home plate. The Cardinals rushed out to congratulate an ailing Craig while the Red Sox rushed to the exact same spot to argue the call.

A walk-off win? More like a trip-off.

"I'm in shock right now," Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said. "Wow, it's unbelievable."

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Craig after a wild throw got away following Jon Jay's ninth-inning grounder.

Boston tied the score with two runs in the eighth before Molina singled with one out in the ninth off loser Brandon Workman. Craig, just back from a sprained foot, pinch hit and lined Koji Uehara's first pitch down the left-field line for a double that put runners on second and third.

With the infield in, Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He made a sensational stab and threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina.

But then Saltalamacchia threw wide of third while trying to get Craig. After the ball got by, Middlebrooks, with his stomach on the field, raised both legs and tripped Craig, slowing him down as he tried to take off for home plate.

Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signaled obstruction, and even though a sliding Craig was tagged by Saltalamacchia at the plate following the throw by left fielder Daniel Nava, plate umpire Dana DeMuth signaled safe and then pointed to third, making clear the obstruction had been called.

"It's part of the game," Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday said. "The guy was in his way. ... We'll take it."

Craig returned for this Series from a sprained left foot that had sidelined him since early September. After an awkward slide on the final play, he hobbled off the field in apparent discomfort.

The Red Sox scored twice in the eighth inning to tie it 4-all. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single and Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch for the sixth time this postseason. Both runners moved up on Pedroia's groundout, and David Ortiz was intentionally walked.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny went to hard-throwing closer Trevor Rosenthal with the bases loaded, hoping for a five-out save from a rookie who has looked almost untouchable this October. But the Red Sox pushed two runs across.

Daniel Nava drove in one with a short-hop grounder that was smothered by second baseman Kolten Wong, who had just entered on defense in a double-switch.

Wong went to second for the forceout, but Nava beat the relay and Ellsbury scored to make it 4-3. Xander Bogaerts tied it when he chopped a single up the middle.

Brandon Workman jammed Holliday and retired the slugger on a routine fly with two on to end the bottom of the eighth. That sent the game to the ninth tied at 4.

Holliday's two-run double puts the Cardinals on top 4-2 in the seventh.

It was a tough inning for Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow. Matt Carpenter reached safely when he checked his swing on an infield single to shortstop. Carlos Beltran was grazed on the elbow pad by a pitch - making no effort to get out of the way.

Beltran, in fact, almost appeared to stick his elbow out just a tiny bit to make sure the ball made contact.

Junichi Tazawa came on and Holliday pulled a grounder past Middlebrooks at third. The ball kicked into the left-field corner and Holliday went all the way to third on the throw to the plate.

Tazawa then got a couple of strikeouts and prevented further damage.

It was Middlebrooks' first inning in the field. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh and took over at third base in the bottom half.

That shifted Bogaerts to shortstop - and neither one was able to make the difficult defensive play Boston needed in that inning.

Cardinals starter Joe Kelly, one of the few major league pitchers to wear glasses on the mound, set down his first nine batters. The Red Sox seemed to see him better the next time around in coming back from a 2-0 deficit.

Bogaerts opened the fifth with a triple that banged-up right fielder Beltran couldn't quite reach. The rookie later scored on a grounder by pinch-hitter Mike Carp.

Slumping Shane Victorino drew a leadoff walk from Kelly in the sixth and wound up scoring the tying run. Ortiz grounded a single off lefty reliever Randy Choate, and Nava greeted Seth Maness with an RBI single that made it 2-all.

Their fielding woes from Game 1 far behind them, the slick-fielding Cardinals made several sharp plays. Kelly barehanded a one-hopper, Carpenter threw out a runner from his knees up the middle and third baseman David Freese backhanded a line drive.

St. Louis quickly broke ahead, scoring in the first inning for the first time this October on RBI singles by Holliday and Molina. After the Cardinals got three hits in a span of four pitches, Red Sox reliever Felix Doubront began heating up in a hurry before Jake Peavy settled down.

Peavy wriggled out of bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth to keep the Cardinals' lead at 2-0. He got some help, too, from St. Louis third base coach Jose Oquendo.

With runners on first and second, Jon Jay hit a sharp single to center. The Red Sox were conceding a run and ready to let Molina score from second, but Oquendo held up the slow-footed catcher.

Peavy actually lowered his career postseason ERA by more than a full run, down to 9.27 in five winless starts.

A day before Kelly and Peavy faced each other, they sounded totally different.

Kelly kidded about his pregame preparation: He stays up all night taking on his Twitter followers, shooting away in "Call of Duty," the popular first-person war video game.

Peavy, meanwhile, was already ramped up and ready to go.

"This is what I've lived for my whole life," he said Friday. "I'm as prepared as I'll ever be, physically, mentally."

NOTES: Cardinals Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Red Schoendienst took part in the first-ball festivities, with fan favorite Willie McGee tossing the pitch. ... At 21, Bogaerts became the third-youngest player to hit a triple in a World Series. Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle did it at 20. ... Molina has a six-game hitting streak in World Series play. ... The family of late umpire Wally Bell was in the stands. Bell died at 48 this month, and the six-man crew is wearing patches to honor him. Bell's first plate job in the World Series was at this ballpark in 2006.

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