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Cardinals vs. Red Sox Game 3: St. Louis wins on stumble-off obstruction call

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The St. Louis Cardinals avoided disaster when Allen Craig tripped over a third baseman and scored the winning run on the ensuing obstruction call.

Jamie Squire

The St. Louis Cardinals nearly got thrown out at home plate twice on the same bottom-of-the-ninth play. What happened instead ensures that Cardinals and Red Sox fans alike will be searching baseball's rule book for the obstruction rule well after the end of the 2013 World Series.

If you want to know how the St. Louis Cardinals won, you'll have to back up—to Allen Craig's pinch-hit double, to Matt Holliday's amazing game, to Joe Kelly wriggling out of trouble and Carlos Martinez not doing it. But the ending's what people will be talking about. With Jon Jay up (and noted Trickster God Pete Kozma on deck), Koji Uehara—the best reliever in baseball—induced an infield-in ground ball that retired Yadier Molina at home plate. Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw to third to try to retire Allen Craig, and that's when the ridiculous part happen: Will Middlebrooks fell over trying to field an errant throw, and Craig tripped over him while he lay flat on the basepaths.

Craig was beaten home, but the trip was obstruction, and the umpires called it. For a moment, both teams were convinced they'd won—but only the Cardinals had. Craig's health is still anybody's guess, but his sprawling dash home was enough, and the Cardinals had taken a series lead.