"You rarely see that," Napoli said before adding, "especially on a stage like this."
Jacoby Ellsbury had walked leading off the first, and Pedroia had singled with one out. David Ortiz followed with a slow bouncer to second baseman Matt Carpenter that had an outside chance of being turned into an inning-ending double play.
Carpenter made a routine backhand flip to Pete Kozma. But as the shortstop approached second base, the ball bounced off the edge of his glove's webbing and fell to the ground.
DeMuth called Pedroia out on a force, indicating the ball was dropped by Kozma while making the transfer to his throwing hand.
"It was just one of those plays. He gave me a good feed and I just missed it," Kozma said.
Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue.
"I think we're fully accepting of the neighborhood play, but my view is that it wasn't even that," he said. "There was really no entry into the glove with the ball."
All six umpires huddled near shortstop to discuss the play.
"Typically they're probably going to stand pat with the decision that's made in the moment," Farrell said.
Kozma believed he established sufficient possession for the out.
"I had enough," he said.
Crew chief John Hirschbeck then walked toward the Cardinals dugout on the third-base side and told Cardinals manager Mike Matheny that Pedroia was being called safe. Matheny argued to no avail.
"That's not a play I've ever seen before," Matheny said. "And I'm pretty sure there were six umpires on the field that had never seen that play before either. It's a pretty tough time to debut that overruled call in the World Series. Now, I get that trying to get the right call. I get that. Tough one to swallow."
Fox played audio of Hirschbeck, who was wearing a microphone, explaining the ruling to Matheny on the field:
"There's five of us out here, OK? And all five of us agreed 100 percent that it wasn't a catch," Hirschbeck said. "Our job is to get it right."
All games on FOX
Wednesday • Boston 8, St. Louis 1
Thursday • St. Louis (Wacha 4-1) at Boston (Lackey 10-13), 6:07 p.m.
Saturday • Boston (Buchholz 12-1 or Peavy 12-5) at St. Louis (Kelly 10-5), 6:07 p.m.
Sunday • Boston (Peavy 12-5 or Buchholz 12-1) at St. Louis (Lynn 15-10), 6:15 p.m.
x-Monday • Boston at St. Louis, 6:07 p.m.
x-Wednesday • St. Louis at Boston, 6:07 p.m.
x-Thursday, Oct. 31 • St. Louis at Boston, 6:07 p.m.