10/24/2013 8:02 P.M. ET
Craig responds well at plate; defense still in question
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Allen Craig did not hit cleanup in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday, but he was back in the lineup after responding well to his first game test the night before.
Manager Mike Matheny dropped Craig into the six-hole in Game 2 and instead made Matt Adams his cleanup hitter. The switch was in response to the Red Sox sending right-hander John Lackey to the mound for the start. It marked the first time this season that Craig had batted lower than fifth.
Making his first start in seven weeks after recovering from a severe left foot sprain, Craig finished 1-for-4 on Wednesday. He did not have much opportunity to run the bases, but he said after the Cardinals' 8-1 loss that his body responded well following the extended layoff.
Added Matheny a day later: "I thought he took good at-bats, looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well, and didn't see a lot of apprehension. But he's still going to be guarded a little bit. But everything came out pretty good."
The rib injury to Carlos Beltran initiated another wave of questions on Thursday about Craig's potential readiness to play the field when the Series shifts to St. Louis. Craig has still not resumed defensive work, which lessens the likelihood of that possibility. Right now, the Cardinals are preparing to use him solely as a pinch-hitter in their home park.
Kelly to start Game 3; Wainwright option for Game 4
BOSTON -- As expected, the Cardinals will start Joe Kelly against the Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series, which will be played at Busch Stadium on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT air time on FOX, 7:07 first pitch).
Kelly will be plenty rested, having last pitched on Oct. 16. He lost to the Dodgers in that National League Championship Series start, missing out on the opportunity to end the series in Los Angeles. The Dodgers tagged Kelly for four earned runs on seven hits over five innings in that game.
The Cardinals are remaining flexible with their Game 4 plans and have not ruled out the possibility of bringing Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright back on three days of rest. Manager Mike Matheny chose to have Wainwright go five innings in Wednesday's game even though the right-hander was knocked around for five runs before recording his sixth out. Still, Matheny indicated that Wainwright's final pitch count of 95 would not preclude him from coming back earlier than initially expected.
Wainwright has never before made a start on less than four days' rest.
If the Cardinals choose to instead hold Wainwright until Game 5, they would turn to right-hander Lance Lynn for the Game 4 start against Boston on Sunday. Lynn started one game in each of the first two rounds of the postseason.
• With his team searching for offense, Matheny opted to start Daniel Descalso, not Pete Kozma, at shortstop on Thursday. Kozma went 0-for-3 in Game 1 of the World Series and also committed a pair of errors that led to two unearned runs in the 8-1 loss.
Matheny also made a change in center field. After starting Shane Robinson against lefty Jon Lester in Game 1, Jon Jay drew the Game 2 starting assignment against Lackey.
• Rawlings will reveal position-by-position finalists for its 2013 Gold Glove Awards on Friday in advance of announcing the league winners Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is seeking his sixth straight Gold Glove.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.