Worst to first, Red Sox win World Series

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BOSTON: The Boston Red Sox beat the Saint Louis Cardinals 6-1 on Wednesday to clinch their eighth World Series title and first at Fenway Park since 1918.

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Shane Victorino blasted a three-run double in the third inning and Stephen Drew clubbed a solo homer in the fourth for the Red Sox who won the best-of-seven series four games to two.

“This is for you Boston,” said David Ortiz who was named most valuable player of the World Series. “When we started rolling we never stopped the train.”

Victorino, who missed the previous two games with a back injury, hit a three-run double off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha to open the scoring for the Red Sox in the bottom of the third. Right fielder Victorino doubled off the left field Green Monster wall which scored Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonny Gomes.

Victorino extended Boston’s lead to 6-0 with an RBI single with the bases-loaded in the fourth in front of a crowd of 38,447.

Slugger Ortiz tormented the Cardinals all series with a hot bat, finishing 11-for-16 at the plate in the Series and had seven walks to tie Carlton Fisk’s 1975 club record.

“I am back baby,” Ortiz said during the post-game celebration where he was presented with the MVP trophy.

Saint Louis wasn’t going to give Ortiz a chance to punish them further in game six as they walked the future Hall of Famer in his first three at bats of the contest. Battled-tested Boston starter John Lackey hurled 6 2/3 innings of one run ball, striking out five and walking none.

Right-hander Lackey clinched a World Series title for the Angels back in 2002 with a terrific game seven performance as a rookie.

“I am really fired up to be part of this. It is really cool,” Lackey said. “It has been a fun group from day one to be around. We busted our butts to get here.”

The Red Sox join the 1991 Minnesota Twins as the only teams to win the World Series one year after finishing in last place in their division.

Japan’s Koji Uehara recorded the final out of the contest, striking out Saint Louis lead-off hitter Matt Carpenter. It was the third consecutive save in the World Series for Uehara.

The Red Sox made quick work of Cardinals rookie starter Michael Wacha, who left the game after giving up four runs on six hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Drew led off the fourth by hitting a solo homer into right field for his first hit of the post-season and he did it on the first pitch from Wacha. Drew is just the second Red Sox second baseman to hit a homer in the World Series, following Rico Petrocelli in 1967.

Wacha had been the best pitcher in the 2013 playoffs as the 22-year-old righty entered game six 4-0 and a 1.00 ERA but he struggled mightily Wednesday.

“They jumped on a couple of pitches,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. “They came out jumped on him (Wacha) and got the big hits when they needed them. We couldn’t get that one hit to make them bend a little bit.”

The Red Sox clinched their third World Series title in the last 10 years and first at home in 95 years when Babe Ruth was on their roster.

Boston has now won three titles in the last 10 years but their previous two came on the road. In 2007 they beat Colorado and in 2004 they snapped an 86-year title drought with a four-game sweep of the Cardinals.

The Cardinals didn’t get their first run until the seventh, when Carlos Beltran singled to left field, plating Daniel Descalso.

Saint Louis then threatened to cut into the Red Sox lead further by loading the bases in the same inning but Boston first baseman Mike Napoli got Allen Craig out, stranding the three base runners.

AFP

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