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No relief: Cards' Maness gives up HR in Game 4

Published October 28, 2013 8:10 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

St. Louis • Lance Lynn faced the minimum the first four innings, then got yanked after encountering trouble against the Boston Red Sox lineup in the next two innings.

The rest of Game 4 was all heartache for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rookie Seth Maness was victimized for the second straight game when Jonny Gomes jumped on a sinker that stayed up for a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth inning of Boston's 4-2 victory Sunday night that evened the World Series at two games apiece.

"Seth Maness has been great for us all year," Lynn said. "It was just one bad pitch and it happens. You can't do anything about it."

Lynn has not completed six innings in any of his five career postseason starts, so manager Mike Matheny didn't hesitate to make the move after Dustin Pedroia singled with two outs in the sixth and David Ortiz walked on four pitches.

"We were fortunate to get out of the one inning after double, walk, walk with just a run," Matheny said. "Got into another bind in the sixth, which is the spot we keep our eyes wide open, and took a shot and it didn't work."

The 25-year-old Maness was among the pleasant pitching surprises, getting his first call-up in May and finishing the year as the National League's best reliever at inducing the double-play ball. The Cardinals just needed one out this time.

"A guy like me, I've got to hit my spots and it didn't happen," Maness said. "It was right down the middle. That's baseball, it happens."

The Cardinals are left looking for a bounce-back start from ace Adam Wainwright in a Game 1 rematch against Jon Lester — won by Boston 8-1 — in Game 5 Monday night. The World Series is going head-to-head with the Rams' home game against the dominant Seattle Seahawks.

"It's going to be fun," Carlos Beltran said. "They have their horse on the mound, we have our horse on the mound."

Maness allowed just seven of 58 inherited runners to score all season, giving the Cardinals an effective bridge to the back end of the bullpen. In the postseason, though, he's inherited 11 runners, and six of them have scored. He yielded a tying single Saturday night in a game the Cardinals ended up winning 5-4 on an obstruction call in the ninth inning.

The offense had a letdown in Game 4, too. They failed to take advantage of Clay Buchholz, who was pitching with weakness in his shoulder and mustered just five hits.

The last hit was wasted when rookie Kolten Wong became the first player to be picked off to end a World Series. Wong was pinch-running for Allen Craig, who had singled with one out, but slipped while taking a lead.

"I went to plant and my back foot just came right out of me," Wong said. "From there, I was dead. I knew I was dead once it happened."

Matt Holliday was 0 for 4 and missed a chance to build on a two-out rally in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson doubled, leadoff man Matt Carpenter's RBI single cut the deficit to 4-2 and Beltran walked before Holliday grounded out against Junichi Tazawa.

Beltran earned his team-leading 14th RBI this postseason, second of the Series and 39th career RBI. He's three away from a tie for 10th all-time with Jorge Posada and Jim Edmonds, both of whom had a lot more opportunities.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury bungled the ball giving Carpenter an extra base on a one-out single in the third, and Carpenter scored without a play on Beltran's single.

Just like Joe Kelly the night before, Lynn retired the Red Sox in order the first time through the order. Ortiz got an infield hit on a hard grounder up the middle that the pitcher deflected with his foot, but was followed quickly by Gomes' double-play ball.