ST. LOUIS — A day after Ortiz delivered a stirring, in-game pep talk to rev up the Red Sox, the Cardinals could've used some inspiration themselves — perhaps a visit from the good-luck Rally Squirrel from their 2011 title run.
The St. Louis hitters went quietly, a couple slinging their bats after routine popups and fly balls, and others questioning the solid calls by plate umpire Bill Miller.
Holliday shook St. Louis' slumber and broke Lester's string with his second home run of the Series. Lester had pitched 16 1/3 scoreless innings in his first three World Series starts before Holliday tagged him.
That was all St. Louis got. Not even a revamped lineup that included the hobbled Allen Craig helped the Cards.
Wainwright changed things the next time Ortiz came up, varying his tempo and delivery. Ortiz still hit it hard while lining out to center.
Wainwright struck out 10 in seven innings, becoming the first Cardinals pitcher to reach double digits in the Series since Bob Gibson did it twice in 1968 against Detroit.
It was a big sports night in St. Louis, with an NFL game between the Rams and Seattle eight blocks away at the Edward Jones Dome. This is a baseball town, clearly: Football tickets sold for $10 on StubHub as kickoff approached, and fans inside the dome loudly booed when the World Series game was taken off the video board.
The baseball fans got to see Lester do more than pitch. He helped himself in the field, knocking down a hard comebacker and swiftly handling a bunt. He also made a dent with his bat, sort of.
Coming in with a career 0-for-31 mark at the plate, he nubbed a ball in front of the plate and was thrown out leading off the third. But at least he broke Wainwright's string of five straight strikeouts, one shy of the postseason record tied by Detroit's Justin Verlander against Boston in the AL Championship Series.