|Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes hits a three-run home run during the sixth inning of Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP)|
Jonny Gomes hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 Sunday night, leveling the World Series at two games each.
David Ortiz added three hits and also encouraged the Red Sox, shouting at his teammates from second base after a double and later gathering them for a huddle in the dugout.
With the Red Sox in danger of falling into a 3-1 deficit, it was a stroke of good fortune by Gomes _ he was a late addition to the lineup when Shane Victorino's back stiffened up, and was 0 for 9 in the Series before connecting off reliever Seth Maness.
Gomes spread his arms wide as he rounded first base and banged his chest.
Along with his pop, Gomes showed off the patience that mark Boston hitters. He drew a 10-pitch walk from Cardinals starter Lance Lynn the previous inning, helping set up Stephen Drew's tying sacrifice fly.
Felix Doubront won in relief of starter Clay Buchholz. John Lackey made a rare relief appearance to set up for Koji Uehara's save.
Game 5 is Monday night as Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright faces Jon Lester in a rematch of the opener when Boston romped. It'll be a busy sports day in downtown St. Louis with the NFL matchup between the Rams and Seattle a few blocks away.
Ortiz did more than his share, as usual.
He singled, doubled and walked his first three times up, making him 7 for 10 in the Series. He'd also reached base in 11 of 15 plate appearances.
Ortiz hollered to the Boston bench when he doubled in the fifth, as if trying to wake up the weak-hitting Red Sox, and later hustled home on Drew's fly to make it 1-all.
Before the sixth, Ortiz gathered his teammates in the dugout and urged them on.
Lynn retired the first two batters in the sixth before Dustin Pedroia singled. Lynn wanted no part of Ortiz and walked on four pitches.
Maness relieved, and Gomes connected on a 2-2 pitch. Maness doubled over near the mound while Gomes circled the bases.
Buchholz pitched a season-low four innings, marking the second straight day a Red Sox starter didn't reach the fifth.
The Cardinals took advantage of yet another misplay to take the lead. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury's bobble on Matt Carpenter's single set up the go-ahead hit by Carlos Beltran in the third.
Beltran, already one of the best postseason players ever, improved to 8 for 10 with runners in scoring position this October. The Red Sox committed their sixth error of the Series _ Ellsbury has two of them after making only three during the entire regular season.
Even with the Cardinals holding a 2-1 edge, the sellout crowd at Busch Stadium sounded a little quiet at the start. Perhaps the fans were drained by the late-night theatrics Saturday, when an obstruction call gave St. Louis a 5-4 win.
The rarely seen call, made after Allen Craig tripped over Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks with two outs in the ninth inning, remained the No. 1 topic at the ballpark before the game.
Lynn broke three Boston bats in the early going. Ortiz had the only hit for the Red Sox, an infield single off Lynn's leg. The St. Louis right-hander got Gomes to ground into a double play to erase Ortiz.
Buchholz was dealing with weakness in his right shoulder, and it showed in his velocity. Through three innings, his fastest pitch was clocked at 90 mph.
Yadier Molina kept up his sweet swing, lining a double in the second. That made him 6 for 13 in this matchup and a robust 21 for 57 in his Series career. (AP)