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Cards can close out Series at home


October 26. 2013 12:27AM
HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer



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BOSTON — Home is where the wins are for the St. Louis Cardinals.


And that’s where they’ll be playing the next three games of the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.


The Cardinals’ 54-27 home record was the second best in the majors. They’ll play the first of three games at Busch Stadium on Saturday after gaining a split of the first two games at Fenway Park with a 4-2 win Thursday night after an 8-1 loss in the opener.


“Excited to get home. I know everybody is,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said, “being able to take the World Series back to St. Louis and have our home fan base supporting us. (But) it meant a lot to be able to play here in Fenway. It’s a pretty unique experience for a lot of guys that have never played here before to be able to do it on this stage.


“But there’s no place like home. There’s no doubt about it.”


PAPI POWER: David Ortiz is becoming more dangerous with each swing. Seems that way, at least.


Ortiz homered for the second straight game in the World Series, sending a drive over the Green Monster on Thursday night. Despite the shot, Boston lost to St. Louis 4-2, leaving the teams tied at 1-all.


“My key? I’ll let you know after the World Series is over,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you all of my secrets now.”


Big Papi hit his fifth homer of this postseason — in 41 at-bats and 17th overall. He is tied for seventh overall with Jim Thome, one behind Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols. Manny Ramirez leads that list with 29.


Ortiz connected for a two-run shot in the sixth off Michael Wacha, ending the 22-year-old’s scoreless streak at 18 2-3 innings, a rookie record in a single postseason.


“With this lineup that Boston has, you can’t make mistakes or they’ll let you pay. A good hitter like Ortiz, I made a mistake, 3-2 changeup up in the zone, and he made me pay,” Wacha said.


After two days as a designated hitter, Ortiz will have to play the field to start Game 3 at St. Louis on Saturday night. The veteran DH has spent some time at first base, and did well there in 2004 when the Red Sox swept St. Louis.


If Ortiz moves to first base, he’ll bump Mike Napoli from the lineup. Napoli was a catcher earlier in his career, but manager John Farrell said he won’t put him behind the plate.


MORE MO: Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made a tantalizing — but not at all serious — offer to baseball Commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday: another farewell tour, this time in the NL.


“Boss, listen to this, OK?” Rivera said on Thursday night before Game 2. “Since I did the whole American League and all the time with the family traveling with me, so I decided I’m going to give another shot in the National League. So here it is, guys.”


Having praised Rivera effusively at the ceremony to present him with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, Selig said he would have no problem if Rivera came back for a 20th season.


Rivera finished his career with 652 saves — the most in major league history — including 44 this season, when he was 43 years old. Selig praised Rivera less for his statistical achievements than for the way he carried himself.


STICKY SITUATION: Pedro Martinez fired a high, hard one at the Cardinals.


The former Red Sox star said that St. Louis didn’t lose Game 1 of the World Series because Boston ace Jon Lester had rosin on his glove.


“It’s not about what he had in his glove,” Martinez said. “It’s about how bad St. Louis came out to play. They did not execute. They did not do anything right, and Lester had everything going on for him. That’s all you had to look at. St. Louis was flat. Lester had his good stuff and he beat them. That’s it. Clean and simple. That’s it.”


Martinez spoke before Game 2 at a news conference with two teammates from the 2004 Red Sox championship team, pitcher Derek Lowe and outfielder Trot Nixon.


After Boston’s 8-1 win on Wednesday night, Cardinals minor league pitcher Tyler Melling posted a screen shot on Twitter showing a green substance on Lester’s glove.


Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson went 1 for 3 against Lester and said Thursday he didn’t see “anything out of the norm” while watching video.




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