BOSTON — The World Series got off to as poor a start as possible for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Red Sox jumped to a 5-0 lead after two innings, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran exited in the third due to a right rib contusion, and Boston cruised to an 8-1 rout in the series opener Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, and Mike Napoli and David Ortiz drove in three runs each to lead the Red Sox.
Beltran waited 16 seasons to finally play in a World Series game, but his Fall Classic debut was cut short.
Beltran was injured while crashing into the short right field fence in front of the visiting bullpen in the bottom of the second inning to rob Ortiz of a grand slam. He was taken to a hospital for further examination.
The catch limited Ortiz to a sacrifice fly that gave the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
Beltran was playing in his 46th postseason game. No other player ever appeared in more before making his World Series debut.
Lester, one of the starts of Boston’s 2007 title team, extended his career World Series record to 2-0 with a 0.00 in 13 1/3 innings over two starts. He allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked one for the win Wednesday.
Napoli hit a three-run double in the first inning off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to open the scoring. Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning off rookie left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist to make it 7-0.
Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia had two hits each for Boston, and 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts, the youngest player in Red Sox history to appear in a World Series game, drove in his team’s final run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Wainwright, who led the National League in wins while going 19-9 in the regular season, took the loss. He was tagged for five runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Matt Holliday had two hits and kept the Cardinals from being shut out when he hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning off Ryan Dempster.
The Cardinals made three errors, including two by shortstop Pete Kozma.
After Napoli’s shot gave Boston a first-inning lead, Pedroia singled home a run in the second before Ortiz’s scoring fly ball.
Napoli’s double came after the Cardinals missed a chance at turning an inning-ending double play on a grounder by Ortiz. The umpires correctly reversed a call on the play.
With runners on first and second and one out, Ortiz hit a grounder to second baseman Matt Carpenter, whose toss for a force play went off the tip of Kozma’s glove. Second base umpire Dana DeMuth originally ruled an out, indicating Kozma dropped the ball while taking it out of his glove
Red Sox manager John Farrell argued, and the umpires huddled, eventually reversing the call and loading the bases. Napoli then hit his double to deep center field.
Notes: St. Louis’ Allen Craig started at designated hitter, his first action since Sept. 4, and he went 1-for-4. He was sidelined due to a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot. ... Cardinals OF Shane Robinson started in place of CF Jon Jay for a second consecutive game after going 2-for-4 with two RBIs last Friday in the Game 6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that clinched the National League Championship Series. However, Jay entered the game to play center and Robinson moved to right after Beltran was injured. ... Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz will start either Game 3 on Saturday night or Game 4 on Sunday night after there was question whether he would be able to pitch in the series because of arm fatigue. ... Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski threw the ceremonial first pitch. ... St. Louis rookie RHP Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA regular season; 3-0, 0.43 postseason) will start against Boston RHP John Lackey (10-13, 3.52; 2-0, 3.00) on Thursday night in Game 2.