BOSTON — One night after the St. Louis Cardinals stumbled on defense, the Boston Red Sox reciprocated, leaving the World Series tied at one game apiece.
The Red Sox made two errors on one play, and the Cardinals scored three runs in the seventh inning to rally for a 4-2 victory Thursday night in Game 2 at Fenway Park.
The best-of-seven series moves to St. Louis for night games Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
“Excited to get home. I know everybody is,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “These last couple of days, to our guys, 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 in this stage. And we’re happy to leave here with a split.”
The Red Sox won 8-1 in Game 1 on Wednesday when the Cardinals committed three errors.
“I thought with the exception of one inning, we played very well in the two games here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately, we gave them some runs tonight.”
After David Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to put the Red Sox ahead 2-1, ending Cardinals rookie right-hander Michael Wacha’s streak of 19 consecutive scoreless postseason innings, St. Louis answered in the seventh.
David Freese walked with one out and moved to second on Jon Jay’s single, chasing Boston starter John Lackey.
Reliever Craig Breslow entered, and pinch runner Pete Komza and Jay pulled off a double steal. Daniel Descalso then walked to load the bases.
Matt Carpenter flied out to left field, and Komza scored from third. Jay moved up to third when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia failed to catch left fielder Jonny Gomes’ throw home, and Jay scored when Breslow, who was backing up the play at the plate, threw wildly to third base.
Descalso wound up at third base, and he scored on Carlos Beltran’s single.
“The errant throw, that’s the one in looking back, I’m sure (Breslow) would like to have that ball back and hold it with a chance to shut down the inning right there,” Farrell said. “We give them the run. Uncharacteristic of the way I think we’ve taken care of the baseball this year, and it contributed to the three runs.”
The Cardinals are usually a station-to-station team but decided to put pressure on the Red Sox in the seventh.
“Can’t give you all of our secrets here, but we’re always working together,” Matheny said. “We had an opportunity to use our coaches, use our bench, use the guys’ instincts, and we played it every way.”
Beltran had two hits after leaving Game 1 with a bruised right ribcage. He was hurt in the second inning Wednesday when he crashed into the right field wall while robbing Ortiz of a grand slam.
“When I left the ballpark (Wednesday), I had very little hope that I was going to be in the lineup with the way I felt,” Beltran said. “I woke up feeling a little better. I came to the ballpark, talked to the trainer. I was able to get treatment and talk to the doctors, and find a way to try anything I could try just to go out there and feel no pain.”
Lackey took the loss, allowing three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Wacha had a two-hit shutout before he walked Dustin Pedroia with one out in the sixth inning. Ortiz followed with an opposite-field drive over the Green Monster in left field for his fifth home run of the postseason, tying the Red Sox single-season record set by Todd Walker in 2003 and matched by Ortiz in 2004.
In six innings, Wacha allowed two runs and three hits and four walks while striking out six. He raised his postseason record to 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA.
“It’s the World Series, big-time game, so I just tried to use it to my advantage to go out and pitch with some adrenaline and just try to block out the fans and the crowd,” Wacha said. “I didn’t have my best stuff. Definitely a little bit more wild. Didn’t have the command.”
Carlos Martinez followed with two scoreless innings, and a third rookie, Trevor Rosenthal, struck out the side in the ninth on 11 pitches for the save.
St. Louis broke through with the game’s first run in the fourth. Matt Holliday led off the inning with a triple against Lackey and scored on Yadier Molina’s chopper to second base.
“Just losing the game is frustrating, for sure,” Lackey said. “But we’ll come back the next game and try it again.”
NOTES: Beltran was cleared to play after taking swings in an indoor batting cage about three hours before game time. … Red Sox LHP Jon Lester denied allegations that he had an illegal substance in his glove in Game 1 when he threw 7 2/3 shutout innings for the win, claiming it was rosin. Photographs and video circulated around the Internet on Wednesday night and into Thursday that showed a green substance on Lester’s glove, but Matheny said his team moved on from Game 1. … Descalso, who went 0-for-3 with a walk, started at shortstop in place of Pete Kozma, who made two errors in Game 1. … In Game 3, Boston RHP Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA regular season; 0-1, 8.31 postseason) is scheduled to face St. Louis RHP Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69; 0-1, 4.41).