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PROTECTING BIG PAPI: Shane Victorino was out of Boston’s starting lineup again, replaced in right field by Daniel Nava.

Victorino was scratched from Game 4 on Sunday night because of lower back stiffness. His replacement in the batting order, Jonny Gomes, hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in a 4-2 win.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Victorino was “much improved” from Sunday and “probably could have started today, so he’s available at full capacity.”

Farrell shuffled the lineup a bit, with Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz and Gomes each moving up a spot. Pedroia batted second, Ortiz third and Gomes at cleanup. Nava was dropped from second to fifth.

“I feel like we need to lengthen out the lineup behind David,” Farrell said. “We haven’t really put together many big innings, and that’s a credit to their pitching. We feel the more we can lengthen out and give ourselves chances up and down the lineup, that’s where we’re at today.”

Boston’s Nos. 7-9 hitters were 2 for 43 (.047) with two walks and three RBIs in the first four games of the Series.

With Lester on the mound, David Ross was behind the plate instead of Jarrod Saltalamacchia again. Ross has usually been paired with Lester lately.


WHAT NEXT? Both teams buzzed about the weird endings the previous two nights, the first postseason games to end on an obstruction call and a pickoff.

“It has been a strange couple of games,” Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter said. “Baseball is a game that something you’ve never seen before can happen every day. I’ve been playing this game for a while, and there’s things that happen all the time that will be the first time that I’ve ever seen something like that happen. So that’s what makes this game great.”

Red Sox reliever Brandon Workman said anything in the postseason is new for him.

“We never made the playoffs in any of my years in the minor leagues,” he said.