Jon Jay hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning to break a tie and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals won their third in a row and fourth in the last five. Boston has lost three in a row.
Jay, who missed the previous five games with a wrist injury, blooped a hit to left off reliever Junichi Tazawa (1-3) to bring in former Red Sox A.J. Pierzynski with the winning run.
Reliever Pat Neshek (5-0) picked up the win by striking out the side in the eighth.
St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal recorded his NL-leading 35th save in 39 chances.
Boston beat St. Louis in six games in last year's World Series.
St. Louis starter Lance Lynn gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa surrendered one run on six hits over six innings.
Kolten Wong tied the game 2-all with a two-out RBI single in the seventh off reliever Tommy Layne.
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Matt Adams. The hit drove in Matt Holliday, who doubled with one out.
Boston tied the contest in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Christian Vazquez. Daniel Nava reached safely on a two-base error by third baseman Matt Carpenter to begin the inning.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Will Middlebrooks' infield ground out. With the bases loaded and one away, he hit a two-hopper to the mound. Lynn bobbled the ball while looking to the plate and was forced to throw to first base.
Holliday was ejected in the seventh inning by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger for arguing a called third strike.
WHERE ARE THE CHAMPS?
Only 13 players remain from the Red Sox 25-man roster that won the World Series last fall. Through trades and attrition, the average age of the team dropped from 31 on Opening Day, to 28 on Tuesday.
The Red Sox have recalled knuckleball specialist Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket. Wright will be making his first stint on the roster this season after four appearances last year.
WACHA ON WAY BACK
St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha began throwing on flat ground Tuesday in hopes of returning to the starting rotation in early September. He has not pitched since June 17 with a stress reaction in his right shoulder.
Red Sox: Newly acquired OF Allen Craig was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore ankle. He suffered the injury Friday while running to first on a ground out. OF Corey Brown was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket and in uniform for Tuesday's game. He was hitting .226 with 16 homers and 39 RBI. Shane Victorino underwent successful lumbar discectomy surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
St. Louis RHP Shelby Miller (8-8, 4.14) will face close friend Joe Kelly (2-2, 4.37) in the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday. Kelly, who spent two-plus seasons with the Cardinals, will be making his first start for the Red Sox since being acquired in a trade July 31. The two served as Best Man in each other's weddings in the off season.
"It's going to be strange," Kelly said. "There will be some emotions there."
The two sent good luck text messages to each other on Tuesday.