The World Series got off to as poor a start as possible for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Red Sox jumped to a 5-0 lead after two innings thanks in part to sloppy St. Louis defense, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran exited in the third due to a right rib contusion, and Boston cruised to an 8-1 rout in the series opener Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
"We had a wakeup call," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That is not the kind of team that we've been all season, and they're frustrated, I'm sure embarrassed to a point. We get an opportunity to show the kind of baseball we played all season long, and it didn't look anything like what we saw tonight."
Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, and Mike Napoli and David Ortiz drove in three runs each to lead the Red Sox.
"Whether we view this as three different series inside of one -- a two-game set here, three over there (in St. Louis), possibly two back here -- always getting that first (win) out of the way is a good feeling to continue to try to build some momentum," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "I thought we played a very good game all-around."
The Red Sox won their ninth consecutive World Series game. They swept the Cardinals in 2004 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Beltran waited 16 seasons to finally play in a World Series game, but his Fall Classic debut was cut short.
Beltran was injured while crashing into the short right field fence in front of the visiting bullpen in the bottom of the second inning as he robbed Ortiz of a grand slam. The eight-time All-Star was taken to a hospital for X-rays and a CT scan, which were both negative, and he was listed as day-to-day.
The catch limited Ortiz to a sacrifice fly that gave the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
Beltran was playing in his 46th postseason game. No other player ever appeared in more playoff games before making his World Series debut.
Lester, one of the stars of Boston's 2007 title team, extended his career World Series record to 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 13 1/3 innings over two starts. He allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked one for the win Wednesday.
"We wanted to set the tone early and get them swinging," Lester said.
Lester became just the third pitcher to post consecutive scoreless outings in his first two World Series starts, joining Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson and San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Napoli hit a three-run double in the first inning off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to open the scoring. Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning off rookie left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist to make it 7-0.
Napoli has 13 RBIs in eight career World Series games after driving in 10 runs for the Texas Rangers against St. Louis in 2011.
"I love this stage, it's in the spotlight," Napoli said. "I love this time of the year, I guess, but it's just going out there and getting the job done."
Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia had two hits each for Boston, and 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts, the youngest player in Red Sox history to appear in a World Series game, drove in his team's final run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Wainwright, who led the National League in wins while going 19-9 in the regular season, took the loss. He was tagged for five runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.
"I thought he threw better than what his line showed," Matheny said. "We absolutely gave too many bases, too many opportunities. Extra outs in situations like this, against teams like this, are going to kill you."
Matt Holliday had two hits and kept the Cardinals from being shut out when he hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning off Ryan Dempster.
The Cardinals made three errors, including two by shortstop Pete Kozma.
After Napoli's shot gave Boston a first-inning lead, Pedroia singled home a run in the second before Ortiz's scoring fly ball.
Napoli's double came after the Cardinals missed a chance at turning an inning-ending double play on a grounder by Ortiz. The umpires correctly reversed a call on the play.
With runners on first and second and one out, Ortiz hit a grounder to second baseman Matt Carpenter, whose toss for a force play went off the tip of Kozma's glove. Second base umpire Dana DeMuth originally ruled an out, indicating Kozma dropped the ball while taking it out of his glove
Farrell argued, and the umpires huddled, eventually reversing the call and loading the bases. Napoli then hit his double to deep center field.