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October 23, 2013

Cardinals, Red Sox set to renew October rivalry

BOSTON (AP) — Lance Lynn squeezed through a door leading into the Green Monster, shimmied along a cramped space behind the famed left-field wall and peered out a tiny metal slot in the Fenway Park scoreboard.

“A little snug for me,” the burly St. Louis pitcher said.

Plenty of Cardinals got their first look at the century-old ballpark during a workout Tuesday, a day before they opened the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox saw a neat sight, too. As they took batting practice at dusk, a giant, vibrant rainbow formed high in the sky beyond center field. Slugger David Ortiz noticed.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “It’s a Dominican thing.”

Whatever, Big Papi. Something special always seems to happen when the Redbirds and Red Sox meet, from Stan the Man vs. the Splendid Splinter, to Gibby vs. Yaz, to Pedro vs. Pujols.

Now, they’re set to meet for the fourth time in “that Octobery kind of air,” as Cardinals Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright described it.

Jon Lester will oppose him Wednesday night, facing a lineup that got a late boost. Allen Craig, who hit a major league-leading .454 with runners in scoring position but hasn’t played since Sept. 4 because of sprained left foot, is set to return.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot,” said the cleanup man, who will be the Cardinals’ designated hitter.

Weather could be a factor. Temperatures are supposed to dip into the low 40s and rain is in the forecast.

Boston was listed as a slim favorite in the matchup between teams that tied for the big league lead in wins. The clubs haven’t met in the regular season since 2008, and Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury was looking forward to this pairing that some are billing as the Beards vs. the Birds.

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