Joe Kelly kept it together, just as Shelby Miller did in the opposite dugout.
The matchup of former teammates who were each other's best man at their weddings was a high quality draw. Each allowed a run in seven innings.
"There was some emotion there," Kelly said after the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Wednesday night. "After the first pitch, I'm just pitching again. It's like you're in the playoffs."
Miller's postgame reaction was similar.
"I thought it would maybe a little bit more odd than it really was," Miller said. "When he's in the box, you're pitching to him. When we're out there, we're trying to win the game. That's it."
Xander Bogaerts drove in both runs, including a go-ahead sacrifice fly with the bases loaded off closer Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth inning. Three of Rosenthal's six losses have come when he's entered a game tied in the ninth.
"I thought he wanted to get ahead of me with a fastball so he could use his off-speed pitches," Bogaerts said. "So I just went in there and keyed on the fastball."
Junichi Tazawa (2-3) worked a perfect eighth and Koji Uehara worked around two hits in the ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. Boston won for just the third time in 14 games and snapped St. Louis' three-game win streak.
Rosenthal (1-6) was working in his fourth consecutive game, in five days.
"I felt good, I felt like I was making some good pitches," Rosenthal said. "I felt good the whole inning. There was no question I was ready to go."
Kelly worked seven innings only twice in 22 starts for St. Louis the last two seasons and Miller got that deep for just the eighth time in 54 career starts.
Kelly got a nice ovation while walking to the bullpen to begin warmups, with hundreds of fans standing. There were more cheers when he stepped onto the mound for the first time, and before his first at-bat leading off the third.
The crowd cast yet another vote against the trade that brought starter John Lackey but came as a shock in the clubhouse. They cheered Kelly's infield hit after the Red Sox successful challenged an out call by first base umpire Gary Cederstrom.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with none out in the ninth against Rosenthal, a single by Yoenis Cespedes, double by Mike Napoli and intentional walk to pinch hitter David Ortiz. Bogaerts lined out to center for a sacrifice fly and the lead.
The first pitch was delayed 1 hour, 3 minutes by rain.
Red Sox: GM Ben Cherington is optimistic Allen Craig will be back this season from a left foot strain, but Craig is set to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
The Cardinals mustered three hits against Kelly but two of them were in the first. Matt Carpenter led off the first with a double and scored on a two-out hit by Matt Adams for the lead.
The Red Sox tied it at 1 in the fourth on a pair of two-out hits, Daniel Nava's single and a double by Bogaerts off the wall in center that Jon Jay just missed. Miller retired his last 10 in order.
The double snapped an 0 for 15 slump for Bogaerts, and the RBIs were his first since July 29.
Jay tracked down Napoli's drive at the wall to end the sixth and keep it tied and Cespedes tracked down Johnny Peralta's liner at the track in left in the sixth, both on balls that probably would have been homers with more humidity. Bogaerts robbed Carpenter of an RBI in the second with a diving stop to his left at short and toss to second for an inning-ending force play.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (13-6, 2.26) opposes Brandon Workman (1-4, 4.08) in the series finale. In the World Series, Wainwright was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA and Workman did not allow an earned run in 3 1-3 innings of relief.