The Cardinals and Red Sox played in a pair of World Series that went seven games, with St. Louis winning in 1946 and ’67.
“It means a lot to the Cardinals,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, whose team opens a three-game set in Boston. “It always reminds you about the great history that this organization has in this interleague play. Twins, Tigers, it seems like almost everybody we play, the Cardinals have played them in a World Series. The fact that we’re going in there, that’s really special.”
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson pitched three complete-game victories to lead St. Louis to the 1967 World Series title. Gibson limited the Red Sox to 14 hits in three games.
As historic as the matchup is, the Cardinals and Red Sox are more focused on tight pennant races.
St. Louis has won six of seven to move within two games of Houston for first place in the NL Central. Boston leads the New York Yankees by a half-game in the AL East.
While he’s not in Gibson’s class, Cardinals right-hander Woody Williams has arguably been the NL’s best pitcher this season.
Williams will be trying to become the league’s first nine-game winner. The veteran is 8-1 with a major-league leading 1.99 ERA.
St. Louis didn’t pitch too well in its last game, but the Cardinals’ offense picked up the slack.
The Red Sox took two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend to improve to 4-2 in interleague play.
Kevin Millar homered twice and drove in four runs as Boston won 9-1 on Sunday. The Red Sox finished 5-7 on their 12-game road trip.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 3rd place, 2 GB, NL Central. Red Sox - 1st place, AL East.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Williams (8-1, 1.99 ERA). The right-hander held Toronto hitless for 7 1-3 innings, hit his first career triple and had a career-best four RBIs as the Cardinals beat the Blue Jays 13-5 on Thursday. Williams allowed one hit in eight shutout innings, striking out five and walking one.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Byung-Hyun Kim (2-5, 4.08 ERA). The right-hander allowed four runs and five hits in just two innings his last time out as Boston beat Milwaukee 11-10 on Saturday. Kim is 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in three appearances since getting traded to the Red Sox from Arizona.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .389 avg., 16 HRs, 51 RBIs and 52 runs; Edgar Renteria, 9 SBs. Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .355 avg.; Manny Ramirez, 12 HRs and 45 RBIs; Nomar Garciaparra, 53 runs; Johnny Damon, 11 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Cardinals - 5-1; Red Sox - 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - OF Pujols leads the NL with a .389 batting average and a .720 slugging percentage. … RHP Cal Eldred has seven saves in seven chances. All his saves have come since May 15. … RHP Williams is 3-4 with a 4.37 ERA in his career against Boston. Red Sox - 1B Millar, who had a pinch-hit grand slam Saturday, is batting .387 (12-for-31) with five home runs and 12 RBIs in the last 12 games. … RHP Pedro Martinez is slated to come off the disabled list Wednesday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner, 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts, has been sidelined since May 16 with a strained muscle under his right arm. … 3B Mueller is second in the AL with a .355 batting average.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 11-16 on the road; Red Sox - 18-9 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Isringhausen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL; C Joe Girardi (back), 60-day DL. Red Sox - RHP Chad Fox (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Martinez (back), 15-day DL.