Cardinals fall to Red Sox in Game 4

ST. LOUIS -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes tried to tell his new teammates this spring what the outcome of this baseball season would be, drawing giggles and nervous laughter.

Funny how one swing of the bat Sunday night can do a whole lot of convincing.

BOX SCORE: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2

Gomes, kept out of the original starting lineup, hit a three-run homer to give the Boston Red Sox a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, evening the World Series at 2-games apiece, and assuring this Series will be returning to Boston.

This is where the Red Sox will win the World Series, Gomes boldly predicts, and why start doubting him now?

"The story has already been written,'' Gomes says, "we're just playing it out.''

Photo Gallery: Cardinals and Red Sox go head to head in Game 4

Gomes made sure that he would be carve out a chapter of his own, pumping his fists and screaming while circling the bases with his 6th-inning blast, and nearly knocking down everyone in his wake when he reached home plate.

It was just yet another zany moment in this wild Series with the Red Sox squeezing the possible out of impossible, and Gomez slamming the improbable into probable.

Gomes had never hit a postseason homer, and entered the game with a .125 career postseason batting average, the lowest by any active players with at least 40 at-bats. He was hitless in nine at-bats in the World Series, grounding into a double play in second inning, but drawing a key 10-pitch walk in the fifth inning.

The only reason he was even playing was because Red Sox center fielder Shane Victorino was scratched just 90 minutes before game time with a strained back.

It may be the injury that saves the Red Sox season.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called on right-handed reliever Seth Maness to face Gomes with two outs and two on in the sixth inning. Farrell didn't even think of replacing Gomes.

"He's going put up a tough at-bat," Farrell said. "If a pitcher is going to make a mistake on the plate he's going to cover it. It's just how it works out.''

It took five pitches for Gomes to validating Farrell's belief in him, hitting a high fastball into the Red Sox's bullpen for a 4-1 lead.

"We just have a different feel and a different personality on the field when Jonny is in the lineup," Farrell said last week. "Call that a hunch, call it whatever you might. At this point in time, gut feel comes into it a little bit more than numbers will tell you on a stat sheet.

"This is a different environment. And I think that's why we've got to remain in tune with how guys are responding in those key moments, pressure packed moments.''

We've got a hunch that we'll be seeing Gomes in that Red Sox lineup the rest of the World Series, knowing there are guys not named David Ortiz or Carlos Beltran have a flair for the dramatic.

"You don't play this game game for the 162-game regular season,'' Gomes said. "You play it for the 19 games of the postseason. The regular season isn't even an appetizer, or a bowl of soup.

"It's why we play the game.

"You can forget about all of the other crap. It's all about this time of year.''

He reminded us Sunday night.


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