BOSTON (AP) — Michael Wacha pitched neatly into the sixth inning against his former team and the Boston Red Sox shut down St. Louis’ rally in the ninth, holding off the Cardinals 6-5 Friday night.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals trailed 6-1 going into the ninth and reliever Austin Davis retired the first two batters.
But Dylan Carlson doubled, Harrison Bader tripled and Andrew Knizner was hit with a pitch, ending Davis’ outing. Reliever Tanner Houck gave up an RBI double to Tommy Edman that made it 6-3 and a two-run double to Brendan Donovan.
Paul Goldschmidt then was called out on strikes, giving Houck his third save.
“Good rally,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “Guys took some pretty good at-bats, strung together some quality at-bats. You go down the line and it’s a pretty solid string of quality.”
Trevor Story and Rafael Devers each drove in two runs for Boston. Nolan Arenado hit his 12th homer for the Cardinals.
Wacha (5-1) allowed one run on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five.
“Today felt like it was a special Friday night, with their fans, with our fans,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “That last inning got interesting, but you expect that against them. They play just like us, until the last out.”
Wacha made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2013 and helped them reach the World Series against Boston. He beat the Red Sox in Game 2, but was the starter and losing pitcher in Game 6 at Fenway Park as Boston won the championship.
“I tried not to let myself think about it too much,” Wacha said of facing his former team. “Tried to just approach it like any other start, any other game.”
“Obviously, there’s a lot of good friends and good buddies over there. So, I was just trying…