ST. LOUIS — Sunday night's bizarre ending necessitated a pep talk to rookie Kolten Wong from St. Louis Cardinals veterans.
The chat was to make sure Wong didn't put the weight of the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the World Series on himself after getting picked off first base to end the game.
"The message most importantly being that was not the reason we lost the game," said Matt Carpenter. "That's how the game ended, but it certainly was not the reason we lost. There were a lot of other factors that were in play."
The second consecutive bizarre ending has tested the mettle of both teams. The Red Sox lost Game 3 on an obstruction call on third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was ruled to have impeded the path of the Cardinals' Allen Craig.
Red Sox rookie reliever Brandon Workman had a quick answer when asked whether he had seen two playoff games end in such a bizarre manner.
"We never made the playoffs in any of my years in the minor leagues," Workman said.
With Tuesday serving as a day off, it's possible right fielder Shane Victorino could return to the Red Sox lineup for Game 6.
Manager John Farrell intimated that Victorino, who was scratched two hours before Game 4 because of lower-back tightness, was healthy enough to start Monday.
"Rather than putting ourselves in a position where, if we've got to make a move and force our hand to eliminate a player, this way we can use him at our discretion," Farrell said. "So he's available."
David Ortiz's spontaneous dugout meeting during Game 4 was met with approval from Farrell.
"His words were spot on," Farrell said. "I walked down close by and heard what he said."
Ortiz observed the Red Sox batters weren't displaying normal at-bats and felt his teammates needed a jolt.
First is best
With his three-run home run Sunday, the Red Sox's Jonny Gomes became the fifth player since 2000 whose first World Series homer was a game-winner, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The others were Alex Gonzalez of the 2003 Marlins in Game 4, Geoff Blum of the 2005 White Sox in Game 3, Mitch Moreland of the 2010 Rangers in Game 3 and Aubrey Huff of the 2010 Giants in Game 4.