He wasn't supposed to be in the Red Sox lineup, yet he delivered their biggest hit.
Gomes cracked a three-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday night to break a tie, David Ortiz reached base in all four at-bats and Boston held on for a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series.
The Red Sox tied the series at 2-2 after losing Game 3 Saturday night on the first walk-off obstruction call in World Series history.
This one ended abruptly with a pickoff when Red Sox closer Koji Uehara caught Kolten Wong leaning off first base with Carlos Beltran at the plate as the tying run for the Cardinals. Wong said his foot slipped as he turned to get back to the bag.
"I knew I was dead," said Wong.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night in St. Louis.
Gomes -- a late replacement when Shane Victorino was scratched from the lineup because of lower back tightness -- homered into the Boston bullpen behind left field with two outs off reliever Seth Maness, who had just entered for St. Louis starter Lance Lynn.
"The one thing you can guarantee is when I'm in the lineup, I'm going to be swinging," said Gomes.
Maness threw Gomes five sinkers, leaving the last one up in the zone.
"I just missed my spot," said Maness.
Gomes' first hit in the World Series gave the Red Sox a 4-1 lead, backing four gutsy innings by starter Clay Buchholz.
The Cardinals cut it to 4-2 on Matt Carpenter's RBI single in the seventh and also brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth against John Lackey, but the Game 2 starter didn't let the ball out of the infield after Yadier Molina reached second on an error and third on a wild pitch.
Gomes had the big blow but Ortiz was Boston's spark. The veteran slugger had three hits and a walk and scored two runs. He is batting .727 in the series.
"He's a tremendous hitter at any point in the year," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Ortiz, the regular Boston designated hitter who's had to man the field in the NL park. "Playing first base certainly hasn't affected him."
Buchholz struck out two and walked three in his first start since Game 6 of the ALCS on Oct. 19.
The right-hander, who had a 1.74 ERA in the regular season but missed more than three months with a shoulder injury, hasn't made it past six innings in any of his four starts this postseason. He threw 38 of his 66 pitches for strikes.
Felix Doubront (1-0) retired eight in a row after relieving Buchholz until Shane Robinson's pinch-hit double with two outs in the seventh. Robinson later scored on Carpenter's hit off Craig Breslow to get the Cardinals within 4-2.
Lynn (0-1) -- pitching on 11 days' rest -- was charged with three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three, the last coming on four balls to Ortiz in the sixth, which put runners at first and second with two outs.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took his starter out, turning to Maness.
"He's been able to get the big out for us," Matheny said. "We wanted to give him a shot."
The Cardinals won Game 3 Saturday after they were awarded the winning run in the bottom of the ninth when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstructing Allen Craig's path to home plate, an instant-classic -- if bizarre -- end.
On Sunday, Craig -- hobbled by an injured foot -- hit a one-out single all the way to the right field wall in the ninth off Uehara but couldn't make it to second base and was replaced by Wong, who couldn't scramble back to first in time to beat the tag.
It was the first time a World Series game ended with a pickoff.
Boston also escaped trouble in the eighth.
Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts dove to snare Molina's hit down the line but threw wide of first base for an error. Molina took second on the throw and went to third on Lackey's wild pitch but Jon Jay popped out and David Freese grounded out -- both to short -- to end the inning.
Earlier, Beltran splintered his bat on an RBI single in the third inning that gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Carpenter scored from second base on the play -- he was there after Jacoby Ellsbury bobbled his single in center field.
Ortiz, who had a leadoff broken-bat single in the second for Boston's first hit, doubled to right-center field leading off the fifth and the Red Sox loaded the bases after walks to Gomes and Bogaerts.
Stephen Drew sliced a fly ball close to the line in left and Matt Holliday's throw hit Ortiz on the arm as he slid home to tie the game at 1-1.
It was Gomes' first postseason home run ... In a crafty play, Drew, the Boston shortstop, flipped the ball out of his glove with a backhand scoop motion to get a force out at second base in the fourth inning ... A lot of people saw Saturday's thrilling finish. According to Nielsen, it was the most-watched World Series Game 3 since 2009, drawing 12.5 million viewers.
10/28 01:10:26 ET