BOSTON (AP) -- Just when it seemed Michael Wacha had cracked, the St. Louis Cardinals began scooting around the bases and tied the World Series.
Wacha beat John Lackey in a matchup of present and past rookie sensations, and this time it was the Cardinals' turn to take advantage of sloppy fielding as St. Louis topped the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Thursday night to even the Series at a game apiece.
David Ortiz put Boston ahead in the sixth inning with a two-run homer just over the Green Monster in left, ending Wacha's scoreless streak at 18 2-3 innings - a rookie record for a single postseason.
But then Lackey, who in 2002 with the Angels became the first rookie in 93 years to win Game 7 of a World Series, faltered in a three-run seventh. St. Louis went ahead when Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly that led to a pair of runs, with the second scoring on errors by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and reliever Craig Breslow.
Carlos Beltran, back in the lineup after bruising ribs in the opener, followed with an RBI single.
"I wanted to be in the lineup. I worked so hard to get to this point," Beltran said. "Somebody would have to kill me in order for me to be out of the lineup."
Wacha, a 22-year-old right-hander, wasn't quite as sharp and allowed two runs, three hits and four walks in six innings with six strikeouts. But he improved to 4-0 in four outings this postseason, matching the amount of regular-season wins he has in his brief career.
"He pitched outstanding," Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said. "Just one pitch, to a great hitter like Big Papi. We take our hat off to him, but I mean, he pitched good tonight."
His parents and sister made the trip from Texarkana, Texas, and sat bundled in cold-weather clothes in the stands to watch Wacha, the 19th pick in last year's amateur draft.
The Cardinals' hard-throwing bullpen combined for one-hit relief, with Trevor Rosenthal striking out all three batters in the ninth for a save. He whiffed Daniel Nava with a 99 mph fastball to end it.
All three St. Louis pitchers Thursday night were 23 or younger.
"It doesn't surprise me. Those guys got talent," Molina said. "Like I said many times before, they're not afraid to pitch."
Seeking its second World Series title in three seasons, St. Louis improved to 7-0 this postseason when scoring first and stopped Boston's Series winning streak at nine.
When the Series resumes Saturday night at Busch Stadium, Jake Peavy starts for the Red Sox and Joe Kelly for the Cardinals. Twenty-nine of the previous 55 teams that won Game 2 to tie the Series went on to take the title.
A night after the Cardinals made three errors in the opener and allowed the Red Sox to romp 8-1, the fielding failures were on the other side.
Given a 2-1 lead, Lackey walked David Freese with one out in the seventh and allowed Jon Jay's single. Breslow relieved, and the Cardinals pulled off a double steal as pinch-runner Pete Kozma swiped third.
It was an uncharacteristically aggressive move for the Cardinals, who ranked last in the National League with 45 stolen bases this year.
Daniel Descalso, who started at shortstop after Kozma made two errors in the opener, loaded the bases with a walk. Carpenter followed with a fly to medium left, and Jonny Gomes' throw home was slightly to the first-base side of the plate as Kozma scored the tying run.
Saltalamacchia allowed the throw to glance off his glove as Jay took off for third. Backing up the plate, Breslow hesitated before throwing to third, then sailed a high throw into the stands as Jay came home with the go-ahead run.
Beltran, making his first Series appearance at age 36, singled to right for a two-run lead.
A few hours before the game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wasn't even certain Beltran would be able to play. The eight-time All-Star was sent to a hospital for scans Wednesday night after bruising ribs while banging into the right-field fence to rob Ortiz of a grand slam.
Beltran said he was given painkillers, and he appeared to be wearing protective padding under his jersey.
Matt Holliday, whose ninth-inning solo homer in the opener avoided a shutout, led off the fourth by driving a 92 mph fastball to the deepest part of Fenway Park, near the 420-foot sign below the triangle section of the bleachers in right-center. The ball hit with a thud off the low fence on the side of the Boston bullpen, ricocheting across toward straightaway center.
Matt Adams lined to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who made a diving catch with the infield halfway in. Molina followed with a bouncer over the 6-foot-6 Lackey that was grabbed by Pedroia, who realized his only play was to first as Holliday scored.
Ortiz erased that with his 17th career postseason homer and fifth this October, pouncing when Wacha left an 85 mph changeup in the middle of the strike zone.
NOTES: The Red Sox had not lost in the Series since Game 7 in 1986 against the New York Mets. ... With the loss of the designated hitter in the National League city, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Ortiz will likely play first base in Game 3. Mike Napoli would sit. ... Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were honored during the seventh-inning stretch as singer James Taylor led the crowd in "America the Beautiful."
BOSTON (AP) -- Given a bit of help by the umpires and a lot more by the Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox turned this World Series opener into a laugher.
Mike Napoli hit a three-run double right after the umps reversed a blown call, Jon Lester made an early lead stand up and the Red Sox romped past sloppy St. Louis 8-1 Wednesday night for their ninth straight Series win.
David Ortiz was robbed of a grand slam by Carlos Beltran - a catch that sent the star right fielder to a hospital with bruised ribs - but Big Papi later hit a two-run homer following third baseman David Freese's bad throw.
The Red Sox also capitalized on two errors by shortstop Pete Kozma to extend a Series winning streak that began when they swept St. Louis in 2004. Boston never trailed at any point in those four games and, thanks to this embarrassing display by the Cardinals, coasted on a rollicking night at Fenway Park.
It got so bad for St. Louis that the sellout crowd literally laughed when pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, who've combined to win six Gold Gloves, let an easy popup drop untouched between them.
Serious-minded St. Louis manager Mike Matheny didn't find anything funny, especially when the umpires huddled in the first inning and flipped a call by Dana DeMuth at second base.
The six-man crew correctly ruled that Kozma had not caught a soft toss from second baseman Matt Carpenter on a slow grounder by Ortiz. A season before Major League Baseball employs full replay, fans got to see a wrong get righted.
"There's five of us out here, OK? And all five of us agreed 100 percent that it wasn't a catch. Our job is to get it right," crew chief John Hirschbeck told Matheny on audio played on the Fox telecast.
The normally slick-fielding Cardinals looked sloppy at every turn. Wainwright bounced a pickoff throw, Molina let a pitch skitter off his mitt, center fielder Shane Robinson bobbled the carom on Napoli's double and there was a wild pitch.
The Cardinal Way? More like no way.
Game 2 is Thursday night, with 22-year-old rookie sensation Michael Wacha starting for St. Louis against John Lackey. Wacha is 3-0 with an 0.43 ERA this postseason.
Lester blanked the Cardinals on five hits over 7 2-3 innings for his third win this postseason.
"He was locating both sides of the plate. His cutter is so tough on righties. He was pretty impressive tonight," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said.
Ryan Dempster gave up Matt Holliday's leadoff home run in the ninth.
Boston brought the beards and made it a most hairy night for St. Louis. The Cardinals wrecked themselves with just their second three-error game of the season.
The umpires made a mistake, too, but at least they got to fix it in a hurry.
After the control-conscious Wainwright walked leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury, Pedroia singled him to second with one out.
Ortiz then hit a slow grounder to Carpenter, and it didn't appear the Cardinals could turn a double play. Hurrying, Kozma let the backhanded flip glance off his glove.
DeMuth instantly called Pedroia out, indicating that Kozma dropped the ball while trying to transfer it to his throwing hand. Boston manager John Farrell quickly popped out of the dugout to argue while Pedroia went to the bench.
"I was just trying to slide in there to break up two. I saw it wasn't on the transfer," Pedroia said. "They call you out, you have to run off. There's a lot of great umpires out there. They put their heads together and got it right and that's the most important thing."
Farrell argued with every umpire he could and must've made a persuasive case. As the fans hollered louder and louder as they studied TV replays, all the umpires gathered on the dirt near shortstop and conferred and decided there was no catch at all.
"It was pretty obvious it wasn't on the transfer. The umpires got the right call and we got some momentum," Ortiz said.
Pedroia came bounding from the dugout and suddenly, the bases were loaded in the first. Napoli unloaded them with a double that rolled to the Green Monster in left-center.
Napoli, with maybe the bushiest beard of all, certainly picked up where he left off the last time he saw the Cardinals in October. In the 2011 Series, he hit .350 with two home runs and 10 RBIs as Texas lost in seven games to St. Louis.
The Red Sox added to their 3-0 lead with two more runs in the second. A fielding error by Kozma set up Pedroia's RBI single.
Ortiz, who hit a tying grand slam at Fenway in the AL championship series win over Detroit, sent a long drive to right-center. Beltran, playing in his first World Series, braced himself with one hand on the low wall in front of the bullpen and reached over with his glove to make the catch.
"At least I got an RBI and we were up four and got the momentum," Ortiz said.
Beltran hurt himself on the play, however, and left in the third inning. There was no report on his condition.
The Red Sox got another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts.
While St. Louis stumbled, Boston made the key plays.
When the Cardinals tried to rally in the fourth and loaded the bases, Lester neatly started a home-to-first double play on Freese's comebacker to end the inning.
Left fielder Jonny Gomes lumbered for a diving catch to start the fifth. Shortstop Stephen Drew finished off that inning, deftly handling a bouncer up the middle to strand runners at second and third.
Boston almost made a terrific play to finish the game. With two outs in the ninth, Freese hit a sharp single and right fielder Shane Victorino nearly threw him out at first base.
NOTES: The Red Sox won their fifth straight World Series opener since losing Game 1 to St. Louis in 1967. ... Boston and St. Louis both went 97-65, marking the third time Series opponents had the same regular-season record (Brooklyn and the New York Yankees in 1949, Braves and Yankees in `58). ... Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski threw out the first ball. ... The team that won the Series opener has taken the title in 14 of the past 16 years.
An estranged wife has led police in Swansea, Illinois to charge three members of a family with sexually abusing young relatives.
Swansea Police Chief Mike Arnold says the abuse came to light after a 36-year-old man's estranged wife spoke to authorities.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the abuse may have begun in September 2009. Authorities say it involved girls who are now 16, 14 and 9 years old.
Two men are charged with criminal sexual assault and abuse and the woman who spoke with police is charged with indecent solicitation of a child.