St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Allen Craig (left) slides into third base as the ball gets away from Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) in the 9th inning during game three of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Photo: Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Allen Craig for a game-ending obstruction call on Jon Jay's ninth-inning grounder, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a bizarre 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night and a 2-1 World Series lead.
Boston had tied the score with two runs in the eighth, and Yadier Molina singled with one out in the ninth off loser Brandon Workman. Allen Craig pinch hit and lined Koji Uehara's first pitch down the left-field line for a double that put runners on second and third.
With the infield in, Jon Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina. Saltamacchia threw offline past third, and Middlebrooks, with his stomach on the field, raised both legs and tripped Craig.
Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signaled obstruction, and even though a sliding Craig was tagged by Saltalamacchia at the plate following the throw by left fielder Daniel Nava, plate umpire Dana DeMuth signaled safe and then pointed to third, making clear the obstruction had been called.