Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester tips his cap to the crowd as he is relieved in the 8th inning during Wednesday's World Series opener.
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox took advantage of sloppy St. Louis Cardinals fielding to run away with Wednesday's World Series opener 8-1 in chilly conditions at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox scored three runs in the first inning on a bases-loaded double by Mike Napoli off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright, and two more runs in the second, helped in each inning by errors charged to shortstop Pete Kozma.
David "Big Papi" Ortiz poured it on with a booming two-run homer in the seventh in support of a superb outing by Red Sox starting and winning pitcher Jon Lester, who went 7-2/3 scoreless innings, giving up five hits with eight strike outs.
Matt Holliday finally put St. Louis on the scoreboard with a ninth-inning home run off reliever Ryan Dempster.
Losing pitcher Wainwright gave up five runs on six hits in five innings on the mound but only three were earned.
The pitcher contributed to the Cardinals' comedy of errors, allowing a harmless pop up to drop at his feet for a single to start Boston's second-inning outburst in confusion with catcher Yadier Molina over who would catch the ball.
Boston, meanwhile, capitalized on the Cardinals' generosity with timely hitting as they outhit St. Louis by just 8-7.
The mishaps began when Ortiz grounded to second with one out and men on first and second.
Matt Carpenter tossed the ball to shortstop Kozma for a force. Although the ball was dropped, the umpire called the runner out at second, ruling that the drop was due to transferring the ball from Kozma's glove to throw.
After an argument from the Boston manager, the umpires conferred and changed the call to safe at second and Kozma was charged with an error. With the bags loaded, Napoli ripped a bases-clearing double to left-center for a 3-0 lead.
The pop up by Stephen Drew that fell comically between pitcher Wainwright and Yadier Molina began a second-inning rally that included another error by Kozma that loaded the bases.
Pedroia singled for one run and Ortiz was robbed of a grand slam by rightfielder Carlos Beltran, who reached over the wall to deny him, although a run scored on the sacrifice fly.
Beltran left the game due to a rib injury on the play and was taken to hospital for tests.
Game Two of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday in Boston.