"They don't swing at bad pitches, really," Wacha said. "They did a good job tonight grinding out at-bats with me and got the pitch count up."
But then Lackey, who in 2002 with the Angels became the first rookie in 93 years to win a World Series seventh game, faltered in a three-run seventh. St. Louis went ahead when Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly that led to a pair of runs, with the second scoring on errors by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and reliever Craig Breslow — both making their Series debuts.
Beltran, an eight-time All-Star, followed with an RBI single. He had been sent to a hospital for scans Wednesday night after bruising ribs while banging into the right-field fence to rob Ortiz of a grand slam. Beltran appeared to be wearing protective padding under his jersey.
"When I left the ballpark yesterday, I had very little hope that I was going to be in the lineup with the way I felt," he said. "When I woke up, I woke up feeling a little better. And I came to the ballpark, talked to the trainer. I was able to get treatment and talk to the doctors, and find a way to try anything I could try just to go out there and feel no pain."
He said he took an injection of Toradol to block the pain for five or six hours.
"The good thing is tomorrow I have the day off," he said.
When the Series resumes Saturday night in St. Louis, Jake Peavy starts for the Red Sox and Joe Kelly for the Cardinals. Twenty-nine of the previous 55 teams that won Game 2 to tie the Series went on to take the title.
"Excited to get home. I know everybody is," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.