Game Report: Red Sox 6, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals played an all-too-familiar game on Tuesday night against the Red Sox at Busch Stadium.

They committed three errors, leading to three unearned runs, and had another key “non-play” which wasn’t an error but still helped contribute to the loss.

“We keep talking about how we’re going to improve defensively and we’re working on it,” said manager Mike Matheny. “It’s not necessarily going to all come in one day but I believe we’ve made great strides. You’re still going to have days when it doesn’t all come together. I would say this is like what we saw early on and at times last year; we don’t make plays and it ends up biting us pretty hard.”

The errors were committed by Jedd Gyorko, on a hard-hit ball which could have been ruled a hit, by Kolten Wong and by Tommy Pham, who dropped a fly ball in left which led to the final Boston run.

Beleaguered reliever Brett Cecil had another rough night as well after failing to get an out on a play when he had a runner picked off first base.

That would have given him two outs and nobody on base in the eighth, but instead, the runner was safe at second and Cecil then walked the next two batters before he was pulled from the game in what turned into two more Boston runs.

“Part of it is he comes in and makes a perfect pick off and we have the guy out by two steps and he (Xander Bogaerts) pulls a Houdini act to get in safe at second base,” Matheny said. “That’s kind of how things roll when you’re having trouble getting on a good roll. He’s just going to have to keep fighting through this. I know he’s not where he wants to be right now.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals scored all of their runs in the third, thanks in part to starter Lance Lynn being hit by a pitch. Dexter Fowler doubled in a run and two more scored on sacrifice flies … The Cardinals did not get a runner past first base the rest of the game.

On the mound: Starter Lance Lynn was upset that he led a 3-2 lead get away when the Red Sox scored twice in the fifth. He allowed only three hits in his six innings … Matheny said he went to Cecil in the eighth because the Red Sox had two left-handed batters coming up and Kevin Siegrist was not available to pitch … Cecil has allowed 19 of 36 lefthanded batters reach base against him so far this season.

Key stat: Mookie Betts’ homer leading off the game was the first run allowed by the Cardinals in the first inning in 21 home games this season. It was the fourth leadoff homer allowed by Lynn in his career, and the first by an American League batter since Ichiro Suzuki, then with the Mariners, hit off against Adam Wainwright in 2010.

Worth noting:
Stephen Piscotty was 0-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in his first rehab game for Double A Springfield on Tuesday night … Playing for Triple A Memphis, Jhonny Peralta was 1-for-4 and is 4-for-11 in three games. GM John Mozeliak said both could be ready to rejoin the Cardinals by the end of the week … Tyler Lyons will make a rehab start for Springfield on Saturday … John Gant, on the DL with a groin injury suffered in spring training, was activated and optioned to Memphis, where he is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Red Sox will conclude the quick two-game series on Wednesday night, with Mike Leake pitching against Rick Porcello. A pre-game ceremony will honor the 50th anniversary of the World Champion Cardinals, who defeated the Red Sox in the 1967 World Series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains