ST. LOUIS (AP) Nolan Gorman homered early and added an RBI single during a five-run eighth inning that propelled the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Nolan Arenado, Alec Burleson, Iván Herrera and Gorman hit consecutive singles to start the eighth against Justin Slaten (2-1) as St. Louis immediately reclaimed the lead after the Red Sox pulled even in the top of the inning.

“One through nine, this lineup really has it,” said Cardinals rookie Masyn Winn, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games. “I think we all know, and I think it was only a matter of time before it started clicking.”

Arenado went from first to third on Burleson’s single to right field, then scored the go-ahead run when Herrera followed with a sharp grounder to left through the drawn-in Red Sox infield. Gorman tacked on an RBI single before Winn’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 5-2. Two more runs scored when right fielder Rob Refsnyder misplayed Lars Nootbaar’s RBI single for an error.

“Unfortunately in this game, stuff like that’s going to happen. They’re going to hit balls that are going to go right at people and sometimes they’re going to hit them where you’re not,” Slaten said, “and that was just the case tonight.”

Nootbaar also had a bases-loaded RBI grounder in the seventh for the Cardinals, who have won five of six. JoJo Romero (1-0) allowed Refsnyder’s pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth, and Kyle Leahy pitched a scoreless ninth to close it out.

Boston’s Rafael Devers homered in his fourth straight game - the third time he’s done so in his career. The Red Sox have lost four in a row and 11 of 15.

Connor Wong’s alert play provided Boston an unconventional way to snuff out a Cardinals rally in the sixth. Brennan Bernardino’s first pitch after relieving starter Kutter Crawford sailed behind Gorman’s head and ricocheted off the bricks behind home plate right to Wong, who fired to third in time to catch Arenado trying to advance.

Crawford gave up one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out five.

“I think at the end of the day, we’ve got to score runs. We can’t play these games all the time, right? Tight games all the way,” said Boston manager Alex Cora, whose team fell to 3-7 in Crawford’s starts despite his 2.17 ERA. “It puts pressure on the bullpen, right? At one point, we have to start producing runs.”

Gorman homered in his first at-bat for the second straight game, lining a solo shot down the right-field line in the second inning.

“He’s got lightning in his bat,” teammate Brendan Donovan said. “So, I think everyone’s on the edge of their seat every time he’s up there. It’s cool to see.”

That continued a recent power surge for St. Louis, which hit four homers in Friday night’s win against Boston and has gone deep in a season-best six games in a row. The Cardinals are averaging 6.7 runs per game during that stretch.

“I think we just realized we’ve got to stop stressing and just let our skills take over and compete, and whatever happens, happens,” Arenado said.

Devers tied it in the fourth when he smashed a low 1-2 pitch from Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas 431 feet into the center-field bleachers. It was the first hit allowed by Mikolas, who worked his way out of a one-out jam in the first inning and retired nine straight Boston hitters.

After Gorman’s error at second base on Wong's sharp grounder advanced Wilyer Abreu to third base with one out, Mikolas struck out Devers and then got Tyler O’Neill to ground into a force play.

The only other hit allowed by Mikolas, who came in with the highest ERA in the majors of any qualifying starter, was a one-out double by David Hamilton in the fifth. Mikolas walked one and struck out four in five innings.


Red Sox: RHP Isaiah Campbell, on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement since April 12, is expected to throw live batting practice Sunday with Triple-A Worcester.


St. Louis LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-1, 4.56 ERA) makes his third start since replacing injured LHP Steven Matz in the rotation, taking on Red Sox RHP Nick Pivetta (1-2, 3.48) in the series finale Sunday.



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