ST. LOUIS -- A wild, back-and-forth Game 3 of the World Series ended in controversial fashion.
Allen Craig scored the winning run on Saturday night when third baseman Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
With runners at second and third and one out after Craig doubled Yadier Molina to third, Jon Jay slapped a grounder up the middle. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a diving stop and threw home to easily erase Molina.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia fired to third in an attempt to double up Craig, but the ball bounced past Middlebrooks and into foul ground. Middlebrooks fell over Craig and impeded his path to the plate, an infraction immediately called by third base umpire Jim Joyce.
Trevor Rosenthal worked 1 2/3 innings for the win. Brandon Workman picked up the loss. Boston starter Jake Peavy worked four innings, allowing six hits and two runs while walking one and striking out four. St. Louis starter Joe Kelly pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and two runs while issuing three walks and striking out six.
Boston tied the score with two runs in the eighth. Daniel Nava, whose RBI single in the sixth made it 2, scored Jacoby Ellsbury with a fielder's choice bouncer. Xander Bogaerts chopped a two-out single off the glove of shortstop Pete Kozma to bring home Shane Victorino with the equalizer.
It erased a 4-2 lead that St. Louis built with one swing -- Matt Holliday's two-run double to the left field corner off Junichi Tazawa in the seventh that scored Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran.
St. Louis jumped all over Peavy in the bottom of the first. Carpenter led off with a single, moved to second on Beltran's sacrifice bunt and rode home on Holliday's single to right.
Matt Adams and Molina followed with singles. Molina's hit knocked in Holliday for a quick 2-0 lead as a record crowd of 47,432 at Busch Stadium shook with delight.
But the Cardinals missed a great chance in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs on singles by Molina and Jay, sandwiched around a David Freese walk. Peavy got Kozma to look at strike three, then induced popouts from Kelly and Carpenter.
Boston's offense got on the board in the fifth as pinch-hitter Mike Carp scored Bogaerts, who tripled to start the inning, with a fielder's choice bouncer.
NOTES: St. Louis hosted its 60th World Series game, more than any other city except New York (191). ... Bogaerts, who turned 21 years old on Oct. 1, is the 11th-youngest position player to start a postseason game. Five of the 10 younger players -- Ty Cobb, Travis Jackson, Freddie Lindstrom, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays -- are in the Hall of Fame. ... Former St. Louis OF Willie McGee threw out the ceremonial first pitch.