If you took the sixth inning out of the equation, the Red Sox put together a solid outing against the Cardinals.
Unfortunately, the game of baseball doesn't work that way, and it was a 10-run sixth inning that doomed Boston, which ultimately lost to St. Louis, 10-3, in a matinée Spring Training contest at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Florida on Sunday afternoon.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox starting pitcher, posted his second straight quality outing after struggling through most of the spring. In five an d two thirds innings, Matsuzaka allowed two runs and two walks while striking out four.
Here's how that woeful sixth inning went down, according to MLB.com beat writer Evan Drellich.
After Matsuzaka retired the first two he faced in the sixth, Pujols walked in front of Holliday, who doubled to the gap in right-center. That was all for Matsuzaka, who was charged with two runs on three hits.
In a sign of his effectiveness, or at least the Cardinals' unfamiliarity with him, Matsuzaka struck out one batter looking in each of the first three innings. He finished with four strikeouts and two walks, and he's pitched well in two straight starts.
Andrew Miller came on for Matsuzaka, and he gave up two walks -- including one with the bases loaded -- four hits and six runs. Scott Atchison replaced Miller, issued a walk, and was burnt by Holliday and Pujols again. Both doubled, with Pujols' coming with the bases loaded.
Kyle McClellan gave up three hits and three walks while punching out two in five innings for St. Louis (12-10). Pujols was 1-for-3 with three RBI while Holliday went 2-for-3 at the dish with two RBI for the Cardinals.
Nate Spears (1-for-1) hit a two-run double and Jorge Jiminez had an RBI in the eighth inning for Boston (12-13), which had nine hits in the loss.
Boston returns to the diamond on Monday when it takes on the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida at 1:05 p.m. EDT (MLB TV). Jon Lester gets the nod for the Red Sox.