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World Series notebook: Cards comfort Wong

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Sunday night, it was the St. Louis Cardinals' turn to make history in a World Series defeat.

When rookie Kolten Wong was picked off first for the last out of St. Louis' 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 4, it marked the first time in Series history a game ended with a pickoff.

Making it more galling for St. Louis was that Wong didn't represent the tying run, and that the man at the plate, Carlos Beltran, ranks among the most prolific postseason sluggers in history.

After slamming his helmet following the out call, Wong was in tears in the clubhouse after the game as he discussed the play with reporters. His teammates worked to convince him the gaffe didn't cost them the game.

"That's how the game ended, but it certainly was not the reason we lost. Those things happen. We are human. We make mistakes. And let's not make it more than it is," second baseman Matt Carpenter said. "We've got to regroup and come out ready to go today."

Wong's out was the latest in a series of crazy plays during the Series. From a reversed call in Game 1 that set up a three-run Boston rally, to the Red Sox ceding a tie in Game 2 on a bad throw to third by a pitcher backing up the plate, to the obstruction call that ended Game 3, there has been no shortage of drama.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the oddities come in part from the teams not playing a crisp, clean brand of defensive baseball that marked their 97-win regular seasons.

"This is a game that has humans involved, and there are going to be errors," he said. "We've got to figure out how to minimize them as much as we can and get ahead of them. It hasn't been typical for our style of play."

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For the second game in a row, Boston right fielder Shane Victorino sat out the start Monday due to a barking back. Jonny Gomes, the hero of Game 4 with a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth, again started in left with Daniel Nava playing right.

Farrell also kicked Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz up a spot in the lineup to second and third, respectively.

"With the change in lineup, I feel like we need to lengthen out the lineup behind David," Farrell said. "We haven't really put together many big innings, and that's a credit to their pitching."

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NOTES: St. Louis made some lineup changes as well, playing Shane Robinson in center field for Jon Jay. Robinson batted second. RF Carlos Beltran moved from second to the cleanup spot. ... With the series tied at 2, the winner of Game 5 went on to hoist the trophy 27 out of 42 times, but just three times in the last 10. ... Monday night marked the sixth consecutive year that a city played host to a World Series game and an NFL game on the same day. Less than a mile from Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Rams took on the Seattle Seahawks in the Edward Jones Dome. The same city played host to a World Series game and "Monday Night Football" for the first time, though in 1986, the New York Mets beat the Red Sox in Game 7 of the Series the same Monday night that the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins at East Rutherford, N.J.

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