ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Xander Bogaerts woke up Boston’s offense with a fifth-inning triple, Daniel Nava greeted reliever Seth Maness with an RBI single the following inning, and the Red Sox were tied 2-2 with the St. Louis Cardinals after six innings of World Series Game 3 on Saturday night.
Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina singled in runs off Jake Peavy in a four-pitch span of the first but Bogaerts, a 21-year-old rookie began the comeback and scored Boston’s first run on pinch-hitter Mike Carp’s RBI grounder.
Kelly, 0-1 in three postseason starts and seven relief appearances, retired his first nine batters and allowed two hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings with six strikeouts. He made a nifty play in the first, jumping to barehand Shane Victorino’s comebacker and then making an easy throw to first.
Peavy entered 0-3 in his postseason career, with two of those losses to the Cardinals while with San Diego. Pitching far more effectively from the windup than the stretch, he allowed two runs and six hits in four innings, escaping a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fourth. Felix Doubront relieved after Carp hit for Peavy.
Peavy immediately got into trouble in a 21-pitch first inning.
Matt Carpenter singled to right and, with the infield shifted to the right side, Carlos Beltran bunted on a 3-1 pitch, but not hard enough. Peavy raced to the third base line and threw to first for the out — giving Beltran his first-ever postseason sacrifice.
Holliday lined a single to right, Matt Adams singled on his second pitch and Molina singled sharply to left as fans waved their white rally towels.
That prompted a trip to the mound by pitching coach Juan Nieves, and Felix Doubront started to warm up, but Peavy recovered to retire David Freese on a hard liner to right and Jon Jay on a groundout.
In a Series full of fielding foibles, there was another in the third. Jacoby Ellsbury dropped Holliday’s fly to short center for an error, but second baseman Dustin Pedroia picked up the ball and threw to first, where Holliday had made a wide turn.
St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth on singles by Molina and Jay around a walk to Freese. With Brandon Workman warming up, Peavy moved from the stretch back to a windup. He froze Pete Kozma with a slider for a called third strike, then retired Kelly and Carpenter on popups.
Bogaerts tripled on a drive to right that skidded past Beltran, who got too close to the ball and then didn’t bend to get his glove down. Beltran injured ribs in Game 1 while robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam and said before the second game that he needed an injection of painkiller to be ready to play.
The only younger players to triple in the World Series were Ty Cobb (1907) and Mickey Mantle (1952), who both were 20.
Adams doubled down the right-field line against Doubront with two outs in the bottom half. After Molina was intentionally walked, Freese flied out.
Kelly, his velocity decreasing, walked Victorino leading off the sixth and Pedroia lined to Freese at third. Left-hander Randy Choate relieved, and Ortiz reached down to line a fastball to right, sending the runner to third.
Nava singled sharply to left on the first pitch from Maness, who then got Bogaerts to ground into an inning-ending double play. Maness induced an NL-high 16 DPs during the regular season.
Boston won the opener 8-1, then dropped the second game 4-2, ending its nine-game Series winning streak.
Of the 55 previous times a Series had been tied 1-1, the Game 3 winner went on to take the title on 37 occasions — including 11 of the last 12. The exception was the 2003 New York Yankees.
St. Louis, 54-27 at Busch during the regular season, entered 26-6 at home from Aug. 11 on but had not scored in the first inning during the entire postseason.
The Cardinals wore their cream colored Saturday uniforms that were launched this year — the first time since 1932 their jerseys had “St. Louis” across the chest instead of the team nickname.
Budweiser’s Clydesdales took a lap around the warning track at Busch Stadium before the player introductions. Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. owned the Cardinals from 1953-96. There also was pregame video tribute to Hall of Famer Stan Musial, the Cardinals great who died in January.
With the shift to the NL city, there was no designated hitter. Wanting to keep Ortiz in the lineup after home runs in Games 1 and 2, Red Sox manager John Farrell put Big Papi at first base — where he played just 39 innings during the regular season.