Cardinals Win on Obstruction Call

On the same play the Cardinals had two runners thrown out at home.  The second runner was called safe because the third base umpire determined he had been obstructed by the third baseman Will Middlebrooks in his path to score.  That runner was the hobbled Allen Craig, who was bothered by a sprained foot preventing him from playing in the Division Series.  The Cardinals went on to win 5-4 on the walk off obstruction call.

The excitement was created after Yadier Molina hit a one out single in the bottom of the ninth.  Allen Craig pinch hit for Trevor Rosenthal and lined the first pitch from Koji Uehara into left field for a double.  The Red Sox chose to pitch John Jay despite first base being open.  The infield played in as Jay smashed one to a diving Dustin Pedroia.  He made a spectacular play on the ball, fired home to get Molina at the plate.  Allen Craig broke for third, the throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia was off the base.  Will Middlebrooks dove for the ball as Craig slid into third.  The ball went past Middlebrooks, Craig bounced back on his feet and attempted to go home, tripping over the raised legs of Middlebrooks.  The throw from Daniel Nava clearly beat Craig before he reached the plate but the home plate umpire ruled him safe because of the obstruction call.

Prior to the chaos the Cardinals looked like they were going to take charge of the game in the first inning.  They scored two quick runs off Jacob Peavy, Matt Holiday and Yadier Molina ripping RBI singles as the Cardinals battered Peavy for four hits.

In the fourth inning the Cardinals loaded the bases with no out on two singles and a walk.  Peavy got out of the inning by striking out Pete Kozma, getting pitcher Joe Kelly and Matt Carpenter to pop out. 

The Red Sox seemed to gain some momentum after the inning.  Joe Kelly was throwing 95 plus smoke but Xander Bogaerts laid into one, leading off the fifth inning with a triple, becoming the third youngest player to triple in a post season game.  Only Mickey Mantle and Ty Cobb were younger when they hit triples.  It was also only the second hit off Kelly.  Mike Carp pinch hit for Peavy and drove in Boegarts with a ground out to make the score 2-1.

Boston tied it in the sixth on an RBI single from Daniel Nava.  With runners on first and second and one out Bogaerts grounded into a double play to end the inning.     

The Cardinals took back the two run lead in the seventh on a 2-run double by Matt Holiday to give him three RBIs for the day.  Carlos Beltran, who had a sacrifice bunt in the first inning to advance a runner to second was hit by a pitch in this inning to advance the runners to keep his playoff contributions alive. 

Boston came right back in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with one out off pitcher Carlos Martinez.  With runners on second and third and one out the Cardinals chose to walk David Ortiz intentionally.  The usually reliable Trevor Rosenthal came in to pitch and a ground out scored one run.  Bogaerts then bounced a single up the middle that glanced off the glove of Pete Kozma to tie the game at 4-4.

That set the stage for the wild ninth inning where the usually lights out Koji Uehara could not save the Red Sox.  Allen Craig stroked his first pitch for a double and the excitement was about to begin.

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