In a game that was filled with missed opportunities and wasted pitching efforts, the Boston Red Sox came out on top in extra innings.
In the 13th inning, Kevin Youkilis had a flair for the dramatic as he hit a walk-off two-run home run off Mike Parisi to beat the Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday.
Reminiscent of a heavyweight world title fight, the Redbirds and Red Sox exchanged blows to try to get an advantage. Both teams missed bases-loaded opportunities to win the game.
Momentum seemed to swing in Boston's favor when a fly ball to Rick Ankiel in the eighth inning off of Coco Crisp was misplayed and resulted in an easy triple. A sacrifice fly ball later, and the Red Sox tied the game. That run turned out to be the one that would send the game into extra innings.
The Cardinals offense could not get on track yet again in support of Joel Pineiro, who must be beyond frustration at this point. Pitching seven innings while only giving up two runs, it seems as though the pitcher is getting the same offense Roger Clemens got in Houston.
The bright spots for St. Louis were their infielders. Adam Kennedy, Aaron Miles, and Brendan Ryan were a combined 10-for-12 on the day. A very admirable contribution, but it was not enough as the Cardinals continued to struggle on the offensive side of the ball.
Chris Perez seemed to lose all sense of the strike zone, as he walked three consecutive batters before he pitched out of the jam. Perez is showing cracks in his armor, as he continues to allow teams to gain confidence, if not allowing runs.
Jason Isringhausen made an appearance and held the breath of all Cardinals fans as he, too, allowed two walks before striking out the next two batters and pitching out of his own jam.
In a game that endured a near one-hour rain delay, the Cardinals certainly let one slip away in Fenway.