Betts plays leading role in Red Sox victory

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox's bullpen was the unsung hero, as they combined to toss seven shutout innings.

The Red Sox may technically be entering a World Series rematch with the Cardinals, but only a few of them could even speak to the thrills of closing out the World Series on the Fenway field.

Here's how it all went down.

Following a leadoff walk in the fifth, Jedd Gyorko's error gave Boston runners on first and second with no outs. The Red Sox have since finished in last place twice before reclaiming the AL East crown in 2016. Taylor shut the door in the 13th to earn the save.

- Porcello didn't look like he was long for the game through the first two innings, but the right-hander settled down and gave the Red Sox six solid innings.

Bradley had two of Boston's six hits, and starter Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. The Cardinals got a run-scoring hit from Fowler, who also came up with a nice running catch before running into the wall.

Kimbrel, who has not allowed a run against the Cardinals in St. Louis in seven games since the start of the 2012 season, earned his 12th save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. Yadier Molina led off the inning with a double to left, and Aledmys Diaz followed with a bunt single. After Kolten Wong led off with a single up the middle.

Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (4-2, 1.94) is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Cubs in which he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.

Boston rallied after being down 4-0 in the seventh inning.

- Joe Kelly got the call in the eighth inning and lasted 2/3 of an inning, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout.

- Heath Hembree pitched a scoreless 10th inning.

The Red Sox are one of three Major League teams (along with the Indians and Dodgers) who have four starting pitchers in their rotation now averaging more than a strikeout per inning.

Jackie Bradley Jr. increased the lead to 2-0 with a homer in the second, his third of the season. The blast cut the Cardinals' lead to two. Xander Bogaerts chased him home with a triple to right-center field to trim the deficit to one.

NATIONALS 8, PIRATES 4 Bryce Harper belted his 13th home run, Ryan Zimmerman smacked a two-run double to add to his major league-leading RBI total and Washington held off struggling host Pittsburgh.

Chris Young, pinch hitting for reliever Fernando Abad, delivered the go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the 13th inning.

- Benintendi extended his hitless streak to 26 at-bats. Christian Vazquez's sacrifice fly to center made it 5-3.

Tim Spyers/Icon SportswireThe Red Sox have underachieved in 2017, but Mookie Betts could have them back on track soon.

Granted, this lineup would look a lot better with some Big Papi-sized production in the middle of the order and without the gaping hole at third base now occupied by the revolving door or Pablo Sandoval, Josh Rutledge and Deven Marerro.

The Cardinals will try to do just that when they play the Red Sox again on Wednesday night in the final game of a quick two-game series. Hector Velazquez will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Sonny Gray for Oakland.

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