* Wild finish gives Cardinals 2-1 lead in World Series
* See-saw game swings in St. Louis favor on umpire's call
The St. Louis Cardinals scored a controversial winning run on an obstruction call in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in a wild finish to Game Three of the World Series on Saturday.
The dramatic ending gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.
With men on second and third and one out, and the infield drawn in, second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a sprawling stop of Jon Jay's grounder and fired home for an out. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchi threw to third to try and catch Allen Craig advancing.
The ball got past third baseman Will Middlebrooks who sprawled to his left to try and catch the throw. Left-fielder Daniel Nava backed up the play and threw home in time for Craig to be tagged out attempting to score.
But the umpires ruled that Middlebrooks had gotten in the way of Craig as he tried to leave third base and obstruction was ruled, allowing Craig's run to count and the game to go into the Cardinals' column.
Game Four is on Sunday in the Cardinals' Busch Stadium home.
"Tough way to have a game end, particularly of this significance, when Will is trying to dive inside to stop the throw," said Boston manager John Farrell.
"I don't know how he gets out of the way when he's lying on the ground. And when Craig trips over him, I guess by the letter of the rule you could say it's obstruction. That's a tough pill to swallow."
The rare call on Craig's strange trip around the bases ended a see-saw contest that kept a crowd of more than 47,000, white handkerchief-waving St. Louis fans on the edge of their seats.
St. Louis battered Red Sox starter Jake Peavy for four hits and two runs in the first inning, but Boston came back with single runs in the fifth and sixth to tie it 2-2.
The Cardinals scored two runs in the seventh and the Red Sox responded with two in the eighth to tie it again.
But it all came down to the wild play at the end, when for a moment it was not certain whether Boston had pulled off an incredible double play or St. Louis had won the thriller.
St. Louis is scheduled to send Lance Lynn, 15-10 in the regular season, to the mound for Game Four against Boston's Clay Buchholz (12-1).