Carlos Beltran reached over the bullpen wall to deprive David Ortiz of a second-inning grand slam, then rubbed his right side in pain. He soon left the game and the ballpark, headed to the hospital for X-rays.
Even the good defensive plays were costly for the Cardinals on an uncharacteristic night.
One of the best-fielding teams in the league over the regular-season, the National League champs bungled their way into an early deficit in Game 1 of the World Series and went on to lose 8-1 to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. St. Louis committed three errors, with several other misplays that spotted Boston to a 5-0 lead after two innings.
Shortstop Pete Kozma botched a potential inning-ending double play relay to load the bases in the first. Center fielder Shane Robinson bobbled Mike Napoli’s double, allowing the bases to clear.
Pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, both gold glove winners, allowed an easy popup to fall between them at the start of Boston’s two-run second. Kozma made another error on a bouncer to his right in the second inning.
But Beltran’s catch, which turned a grand slam into a sacrifice fly and saved three runs, might turn out to be the most damaging. After finishing the half-inning clutching his right side, Beltran left the game with what was called a bruise and was taken to the hospital for X-rays.
The injury to their No. 2 hitter that knocked him out for the rest of the game — if not longer — could have the most repercussions for the Cardinals. Beltran, who is in the World Series for the first time in his 16-year career, batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBI in the regular season and has 12 RBI in the playoffs this year.
The Cardinals could replace Beltran on the roster, but he would be lost for the rest of the Series. Outfielder Adron Chambers is the likely substitute, having been left off the World Series roster when the Cardinals went with rookie infielder Kolten Wong.
St. Louis also added another error, by third baseman David Freese, and a wild pitch by Carlos Martinez that put a runner on third base with nobody out in the eighth inning, leading to Boston’s eighth run.