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Red Sox win series finale with Cards
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS -- David Wells threw eight innings of four-hit ball and the Boston Red Sox got big hits from David Ortiz and Jason Varitek in a 4-0 rain-delayed victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep in the World Series rematch, looking more like the team that swept the Cardinals last fall than the one that lost the first two games by a combined score of 16-3.
Wells (4-4) needed only 94 pitches to beat Chris Carpenter (8-4). Ortiz hit his 14th homer and Varitek, who was 6-for-10 in the series with four of Boston's seven RBIs, had a two-run double in the sixth.
Edgar Renteria was 2-for-13, hit into four double plays and a made an error in his first games in St. Louis since signing a free-agent deal with the Red Sox, but ended his frustration with a homer off Ray King in the ninth.
The game lacked the testy nature that spiced the second game of the series, when five batters were hit by pitches in the last four innings, and two pitchers plus both managers were ejected. In the finale, the only player hit was David Eckstein of the Cardinals, who was nipped on the elbow in the sixth.
Wells wasn't bothered by a delay of nearly three hours before the game began, beating the Cardinals for the fourth time in five career decisions and raising his interleague record to 14-6. Most of a sellout crowd of 46,928, the Cardinals' sixth straight, stuck around for the game.
So Taguchi had two singles for the Cardinals, who lost for only the third time in their last 19 interleague games dating to 2003. They're 4-2 this year.
Only two Cardinals made it to second base against Wells: Jim Edmonds on a double off the left-field wall in the fifth and Taguchi in the eighth after singling and advancing on a groundout. Wells had entered the game 2-3 with a 7.52 ERA in his first six road starts.
Six straight Red Sox batters reached safely with one out in the sixth, starting with Ortiz's 14th homer. Kevin Millar and Trot Nixon followed with singles and both scored on Varitek's double to the gap in left-center.
Carpenter walked his first two batters of the game, Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn, but struck out Wells and got Johnny Damon on a groundout to first to end the inning. In six innings, Carpenter gave up three runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts.
Keith Foulke worked the ninth for the Red Sox, who won for only the third time in their last 10 road games. Boston is 15-18 on the road.