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Red Sox 2, Cardinals 5: Workman's early struggles prove costly against Wainwright

Both Brandon Workman and Adam Wainwright stumbled early, but Workman's struggles were worse, and Wainwright rounded into form in time to earn the Cardinals a 5-2 victory.

Jeff Curry

The Cardinals wrapped up a series win over the Red Sox Thursday night thanks to early struggles from Brandon Workman and the continued ineptitude of Boston's lineup.

Credit Brandon Workman with this: he broke the streak. Game after game had seen Red Sox pitchers walk as many batters as they struck out, if not more, dating all the way back to Jon Lester's final start with the team. Workman was more...solid, I suppose, producing four strikeouts and two walks despite leaving plenty of pitches up and outside. So that's something.

It's also basically the best thing that can said about Workman's start thanks to how it began. After Dustin Pedroia and Yoenis Cespedes were stranded on base in the first, the Cardinals got to work on Boston's young starter in a hurry. A walk and a single put Workman in immediate trouble, and while he came close to escaping as Adam Wainwright had in the top of the first, he couldn't complete his Houdini act. A high 1-1 fastball to Jhonny Peralta ended up on the warning track in right-center field, bringing two runs home before Oscar Tevaras brough Peralta in with a ground ball single, leaving the Red Sox in an early 3-0 hole.

The Red Sox continued to put Wainwright on the ropes early, with Will Middlebrooks producing a two-out double in the second before Workman was, predictably, retired in short order. The third proved more productive, with Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia both singling to start the only run-scoring rally the Red Sox would manage all night. Mike Napoli, a late substitution for David Ortiz, brought home Boston's first run, taking a middle-middle fastball back up the middle to plate Holt, and Christian Vazquez followed suit, bringing the Red Sox within a run.

And that was as close as they would get. Wainwright, looking entirely vulnerable through three, turned suddenly into, well, Adam Wainwright. Eleven straight Red Sox batters fell victim to the Cardinals' righty, with Boston failing to so much as threaten again until the seventh, when they put both Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia on base. Yoenis Cespedes struck out looking, however, leaving even that opportunity wasted.

By that point, the Cardinals had already made it 4-2 with a Kolten Wong homer in the fifth, chasing Workman from the game. The second baseman would replicate that feat in the eighth, taking Craig Breslow deep to give us a final score of 5-2, with a Xander Bogaerts double the only offense left to the Red Sox.