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World Series Game 3: Cardinals beat Red Sox 5-4 on game-ending obstruction call

The St. Louis Cardinals took control of the World Series with a controversial and stunning 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 3.

On a wild final play, the Cardinals were awarded the winning run when base runner Allen Craig tripped over third baseman Will Middlebrooks as he attempted to scramble home following Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throwing error. The play started with Dustin Pedroia making an incredible diving stop to throw out Yadier Molina at home, but Saltalamacchia's aggressive throw to cut down Craig at third sailed down the line.

As a result, the Cardinals will take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4.

Matt Holliday got off to a rough start in Game 3 with an embarrassing baserunning gaffe, but he more than made up for it in the seventh inning when he delivered a go-ahead, two-run double. It was a beautiful piece of hitting, too, as Holliday reached out and hooked Junichi Tazawa's 1-1 fastball into the left field corner. Holliday also singled home the Cardinals first run in the first inning.

Matt Carpenter singled leading off the Cardinals first two scoring innings and scored twice.

St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal recorded the final five outs and earned the win.

Xander Bogaerts was the key man for Boston. His lead-off triple in the fifth inning got the offense rolling. He later scored the Red Sox first run on Mike Carp's fielder's choice. Then in the eighth inning, his seeing-eye single tied the game at 4-4.

The Red Sox needed a pick-me-up after Jake Peavy was unable to pitch into the fifth. Felix Doubront provided it, tossing two scoreless innings to get them through the middle innings.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throwing error was the deciding moment for Boston. He was 0 for 3 at the plate.

Jake Peavy allowed two runs on four singles in the first inning, and there wasn‘t a cheapie in the bunch. To his credit, though, he was able to work out of it in good shape — Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice bunt on a 3-1 pitch helped — and gave John Farrell four gutsy innings. In the fourth inning, he worked out of a bases loaded, nobody out situation. He was clearly scuffling though, hitting 89-92 on the gun and with little movement, but it could have been worse.

The mess of a play in the third inning where Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a fly ball and Matt Holliday got caught not hustling between first and second. The Fox broadcast only added to it by playing a pre-recorded interview over the action.

After a stellar two inning performance in Game 2, Carlos Martinez allowed a single, walk and hit batter in Boston's eighth inning rally.

The game's final play was clearly the biggest moment, and may prove to be the pivotal moment in the series. However, Allen Craig‘s pinch-hit double with one out double in the ninth inning set the wheels in motion.

• The Red Sox are scoreless in the first four innings in eight of their last 10 games.

• Xander Bogaerts is third youngest player with a triple in World Series history. The only two players who were younger were Ty Cobb & Mickey Mantle.

• Did third base umpire Jim Joyce rule correctly on the game-ending obstruction call?

• Will Allen Craig be healthy for Game 4 after an awkward slide at home plate?

• What took John Farrell so long to give Daniel Nava a start?

• Should Farrell have stuck with Doubront a third inning?

• Reliever Brandon Workman batting for himself in the ninth inning of a tie game. The Red Sox still had Mike Napoli available on the bench and closer Koji Uehara in the bullpen. It was an odd decision.

The series continues with Game 4 on Sunday night. An admittedly less than 100% Clay Buchholz is scheduled to take the ball for Boston. The Cardinals are countering with Lance Lynn. How can they top Game 3?

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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