ST. LOUIS — The World Series has turned out to be quite a learning experience for Cardinals rookie INF Kolten Wong. And younger brother Kean Wong, the Rays' fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Kean, who was named MVP of the Gulf Coast League Rays, has been here in St. Louis getting to experience the highs and lows of the Series up close with Kolten, who garnered some attention for a key defensive play in Game 3 then stumbled into the spotlight after getting picked off to end Game 4.
"He gets a taste of what it's like, and when he gets a chance to get up here and if they end up in this situation, he kind of knows what the atmosphere is like and what it's going to be like," Kolten said.
Saturday night, that meant sitting up late watching replays and discussing Kolten's key eighth-inning play. Sunday was educational in a different way as Kolten was seen crying in the clubhouse after explaining his mistake, then tweeted an apology to fans.
Teammates rallied around Kolten. "We've got a couple of guys, myself included, that have said some things to him," Cardinals 2B Matt Carpenter said Monday. "Certainly the message most importantly being that that was not the reason we lost the game. That's how the game ended, but it's not, certainly it was not, the reason we lost. There were a lot of other factors that were in play.''
LINING UP: Allen Craig wasn't in the Cardinals' original lineup, but some early afternoon work at first base convinced manager Mike Matheny he was ready for his first action in the field since spraining his left foot Sept. 4, though he went 0-for-3 … Matheny had already shuffled his batting order, moving Tampa Jesuit product CF Shane Robinson up to second, though he was 0-for-3, and dropping Carlos Beltran into the cleanup spot. … Boston OF Shane Victorino's lower back was feeling better, but the Sox opted to keep him out of the starting lineup, with Game 4 star Jonny Gomes in leftfield and Daniel Nava in right. … Boston also changed its lineup, moving Dustin Pedroia and sizzling David Ortiz up to second and third.
SPORTSTOWN, USA: St. Louis has been a busy place, besides hosting World Series games Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The NHL Blues played at home Friday and do again tonight. There was a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on Sunday. And the NFL Rams hosted the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Amazingly, it is the sixth consecutive year there have been Series and NFL games on the same day in the same city, going back to Rays-Phillies/Falcons-Eagles in 2008.
MISCELLANY: Matt Holliday's homer was the first a Sox pitcher allowed on the road since Jose Lobaton's walkoff blast won Game 3 of the Division Series for the Rays, ending a streak of 56 innings and a postseason record six games. … The 2:52 game time was the shortest since Game 5 of 2010. … A poorly conceived Chevrolet truck promotion in which fans were to hold up signs that spelled out SILVERADO STRONG was canceled shortly before game time. Boston Strong has been a post-marathon bombing rallying cry. … The first pitch was thrown out by Cardinals Hall of Fame SS Ozzie Smith. … Harry Connick Jr. sang the anthem, understatedly and quickly.
RAYS NEWS: LHP Mike Montgomery, who was 7-8, 4.72 at Triple-A Durham after being acquired from the Royals, was chosen for Saturday's Arizona Fall League All-Star Game (8 p.m., MLB Network).