ST. LOUIS — No sooner than we posted the lineups for Monday's World Series Game 5 did Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny make a big change. Allen Craig is going to start at first base for the Cardinals, his first time playing the field since spraining his left foot on Sept. 4.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) October 28, 2013
Craig is hitting .444 in the series with four hits in nine at-bats, mostly as a designated hitter in Games 1-2 in Boston. Craig did pinch hit in Games 3 and 4 and got a hit both times, including a double in that wild ninth inning of Game 3. He also singled in Game 4, but ran gingerly to first base. He was then replaced by a pinch runner.
Matt Adams, the Cardinals' first baseman with Craig out, has been a disappointing 3-for-17 in the series. He's struck out five times and hadn't driven in a run. Adams is a career .208 hitter against left-handed pitchers while Craig hit .308 against lefties, which is what the Cardinals face in Red Sox starter Jon Lester.
The move signals that the Cardinals are not holding back in Game 5 with ace Adam Wainwright on the mound. A loss sends them back to Boston facing a 3-2 series deficit. They'll now have Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina and Craig hitting 4-5-6 against Lester.
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