Red Sox, Cards close series in spirit of '67

Red Sox, Cards close series in spirit of '67

A golden season for the Cardinals and Red Sox is being recognized in this two-game Interleague series, which concludes Wednesday night at Busch Stadium. The teams are wearing 1967 throwback uniforms to commemorate the Fall Classic of 50 years ago that lasted seven games, with a loaded St. Louis squad prevailing over Boston's fabled Impossible Dream team.

The Sox and Cards have met in the World Series four times, with St. Louis winning the first two matchups (1946 and '67) and the Red Sox emerging victorious in 2004 and '13.

The current Red Sox and Cardinals clubs both have plenty of talent, making another World Series meeting a possibility.

"There's a lot of history, obviously," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "I don't have a whole lot of good memories of playing against Boston. The whole thing with Interleague Play, it does create some challenges at times, without question. For us, it's whatever the fans want.

"Apparently it's been very positive feedback about Interleague Play, and that's something we need to continue to do. For us, it's just who is the next team up that we have to try to put together a good run against. This is a good team. Once again, I have a lot of bad flashbacks watching Boston at the end of the season. Good team, great organization, been around a long time. I know those sort of things make for somewhat of a rivalry. It's good for the game."

The Red Sox send right-hander Rick Porcello, last season's American League Cy Young Award winner, to the mound. The Cardinals counter with righty Mike Leake, who is off to a tremendous start (1.94 ERA).

Three things to know about this game

• Leake enters leading the National League in ERA. All seven of his outings have been quality starts, and he ranks third among NL starters with a 0.99 WHIP and .211 opponents' batting average. Leake has faced Boston just twice in his career, both in 2014 when with the Reds. Boston is one of 11 teams Leake has not yet earned a win against.

• After a slow start, Porcello has turned in five straight quality starts. He has pitched twice against the Cards in his career, going 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA.

• If Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts can hit another leadoff homer on Wednesday, it would be his 11th lifetime and he would surpass Jacoby Ellsbury for the franchise record. Betts has two leadoff homers in the past week, including one Tuesday against Cards righty Lance Lynn.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.