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ST. LOUIS – The Boston Red Sox keep stumbling. Forget about getting in the path of opponents, they can't even stay out of their own way.
Another bad throw to third.
Another painful loss.
And now, for the first time in 27 years, the Red Sox find themselves in a World Series deficit.
Usually you see tripping penalties in hockey games, not baseball games.
The crazy 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night, which ended with third baseman Will Middlebrooks, flat on his stomach, raising both legs and obstructing Allen Craig, joins the bizarre Boston lore that include Johnny Pesky holding the ball on Harry Walker's hit in 1946 and Bill Buckner allowing Mookie Wilson's grounder to through his legs in 1986.
And now, things get really dicey.
With Boston trailing 2-1 in the Series, the Red Sox start Craig Buchholz in Game 4, a pitcher unsure how far he can go with a barking shoulder.
Felix Doubront, the most likely emergency starter, threw two innings and 25 pitches on Saturday night after Jake Peavy lasted just four innings.
Hope for a third Series sweep in a decade disappeared when Craig Breslow threw wildly over third base in Game 2 and into the Fenway Park stands, turning a tying sacrifice fly into two runs.
When this one ended, Middlebrooks approached the umpires and raising his arms wide, as if to say "What could I do?"
Well, the Red Sox could stop aiming throws to third base at the seats down the left-field line.
Craig may have fallen at third base, but it was the Red Sox who flopped.