MLB: Pinch-hit homer helps Cardinals rally past Red Sox

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Pinch hitter Nolan Gorman hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to help the visiting St. Louis Cardinals upend the Boston Red Sox 8-6 Friday in the opener of a three-game series.

St. Louis trailed 6-5 entering the ninth but scored three runs off closer Kenley Jansen (1-1), who blew a save chance for the second time this season.

Paul DeJong walked to start the inning, stole second and scored on a Lars Nootbaar single. Gorman followed with his ninth home run of the season.

Reliever Ryan Helsley (1-2) earned the win for pitching two scoreless innings. He struck out four.

Boston starter James Paxton struck out nine and gave up two runs in five innings during his Red Sox debut. It was his first start in a major league game since April 6, 2021, when he played for the Seattle Mariners.

The Red Sox acquired Paxton in December 2021. He missed the 2022 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and began this season on the injured list with a hamstring injury he sustained in spring training.

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright also went five innings. He allowed four runs on seven hits, struck out two and walked two.

The Red Sox trailed 5-4 before scoring twice in the eighth. They tied the game when Masataka Yoshida scored on a double by Rafael Devers, and then took a 6-5 lead when Raimel Tapia’s groundout brought in Bobby Dalbec.

Nolan Arenado collected four hits, including a two-run home run, for St. Louis. He gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead by hitting his fourth home run of the year in the first inning.

Boston tied the game in the fourth on Jarren Duran’s two-out single, which knocked in Alex Verdugo and Justin Turner.

The Red Sox took a 4-2 lead on back-to-back home runs from Enmanuel Valdez and Connor Wong in the fifth, but St. Louis came back with three runs in the sixth. After Wilson Contreras homered to make it 4-3, Arenado scored as DeJong grounded into a double play. Nootbaar’s double drove in Brendan Donovan to give St. Louis a 5-4 lead.

–Field Level Media

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