By KEN POWTAK Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the first inning and the St. Louis Cardinals broke it open with a six-run sixth in an 11-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
Nolan Gorman and Tyler O’Neill both had a solo shot for the Cardinals, who rebounded after losing the opener of the three-game series. Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman each had a two-run single during the big inning.
“This is the depth that we talked about and a lot of guys are putting it together at the right time,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “Outside of giving guys a day off, I think that’s our best lineup.”
With recently elected Hall of Famer and 2013 World Series MVP David Ortiz seated in the first row next to Boston’s dugout for the first five innings, the Red Sox lost for just the fourth time in 16 games.
It snapped the Cardinals’ five-game losing streak in Fenway Park — including the final game when Boston won the ’13 Series — and was their first win here since Game 2 on Oct. 24, 2013.
Neil Diamond made a rare appearance to sing “Sweet Caroline” — a staple song in the middle of the eighth at Fenway.
Dakota Hudson (5-3) held Boston to two runs in five innings.
“I just knew I was trying to hang on and keep my head above water, trying to give our team a chance to win, even though it wasn’t pretty,” Hudson said of his outing, which included five walks.
Arenado homered into the first row of seats against Kutter Crawford (1-2). Gorman and O’Neill each hit theirs into the center-field bleachers.
“We get two outs, two quick outs, then the base hit and then the 3-2 cutter middle-middle, and he didn’t miss it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Arenado’s homer.
Big Papi wasn’t around during St. Louis’ game-breaking inning when O’Neill homered, and Goldschmidt and Edman collected their hits along with an RBI single by Arenado.
“It was obviously a great run for us,” Gorman said of the sixth when he made two outs. “When you get the opportunity to have two at-bats in one inning, that means your team’s doing really well.”
Ortiz was part of a pregame presentation for Cardinals star Albert Pujols, who announced he’s retiring at the end of the season. Big Papi presented him with a No. 5 from the manually operated Monster scoreboard.
Pujols got a nice hand when he came up to pinch-hit in the eighth before striking out.
Coming off five shutout innings for his first big-league victory in his previous start, Crawford gave up four runs in four innings.
There was a large contingent of Cardinals’ fans — who broke into chants of “Let’s Go Cardinals!” — that made the trip, with the club making just its second regular season visit to Fenway in 14 years and first since 2017.
“I think this is one of those spots you look forward to coming to,” Marmol said.
The Red Sox acquired 28-year-old right-handed reliever James Norwood from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations. He made 20 relief appearances for the Phillies this season, posting an 8.31 ERA.
“Good fastball, good split, good slider,” Cora said. “The numbers don’t represent that, one of those intriguing arms.”
Cardinals: OF Corey Dickerson (strained left calf) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. “Needs the calf to respond properly,” Marmol said before the game. “(He) felt it a little bit in his last time out.”
Red Sox: Cora said lefty Chris Sale, who threw a two-inning simulated game off the Fenway mound Thursday, will do another Monday. “The goal is stretch him out as a starter,” Cora said. “Arm looks great, best I’ve seen him in a while.” … Cora also gave updates on three other pitchers: LHP Josh Tayor (lower back strain) threw two innings from the mound, LHP James Paxton (recovering Tommy John surgery) and RHP Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) each threw in the bullpen.
RHP Andre Pallante (2-1, 1.46 ERA) is set to come out of the bullpen and start for the Cardinals in Sunday’s series finale. RHP Nick Pivetta (6-5, 3.50) looks to continue his recent hot stretch for the Red Sox. He’s 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his last eight starts.
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