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Red Sox win third World Series title in 10 seasons

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Updated: October 31, 2013 12:25AM



BOSTON — The Red Sox went from last to first. They even gave Boston a World Series championship to celebrate at home.

It was what a city, still getting well after the Boston Marathon tragedy, needed.

Shane Victorino’s three-run double off the Green Monster in the third inning against previously unbeatable rookie Michael Wacha and Stephen Drew’s homer leading off a three-run fourth provided the offensive spark, and 35-year-old right-hander John Lackey took care of the pitching for the Red Sox, who defeated the Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 to win their third World Series title in 10 years.

This was the Red Sox’ first Fall Classic won at home since 1918, and it came a year after they finished at the bottom of the American League East. The 1991 Twins are the only other team to win a World Series a year after finishing last.

It came only months after the marathon.

“All those that were affected in the tragedy — Boston Strong!” Victorino proclaimed.

Lackey was the strong one on the mound, allowing a run in 62/3 innings and becoming the first pitcher to start and win a World Series clincher for two teams. He led the 2002 Angels past the Giants in Game 7 as a rookie.

Japanese closer Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth inning to roars from a crowd that stood on every pitch of the inning. His strikeout of Matt Carpenter for the final out set off a celebration scene on the infield, in the stands, on the city streets and throughout New England.

“God never left his kids alone. This is a city that has been through a lot of situations,’’ said series MVP David Ortiz, who walked four times in Game 6 after being unstoppable in the first five games. Big Papi batted .688 in the Series.

So hungry to see the Red Sox win a title at home, fans reportedly shelled out $1,000 for bleacher tickets and $10,000 for choice seats. They knew as early as the third inning, when Victorino worked his bases-loaded postseason magic, that they would probably get their money’s worth. They had to know for sure when the light-hitting Drew cleared the right-field fence.

Victorino has a record 20 RBI in bases-loaded situations in postseason games, and his double was the latest in a big collection of postseason moments, which include a grand slam for the Phillies against the Brewers’ CC Sabathia in the 2008 National League Division Series, a homer against the Dodgers in the ’08 NL Championship Series and a clinching grand slam in Game 6 of this year’s American League Championship Series against the Tigers. Victorino, who didn’t play in Games 4 and 5 because of a sore lower back and had been 0-for-10 in the Series, added an RBI single in the fourth.

The party was on. Only when the Cardinals loaded the bases in the seventh was there any level of tension. Lackey talked manager John Farrell into facing Matt Holliday, but he walked him, leaving Junichi Tazawa to get Allen Craig on a grounder to first to end the threat. It was yet another solid October outing for Lackey, who has allowed no more than four runs in 15 of his 16 postseason starts.

Wacha, 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in the postseason coming in, gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in 32/3 innings.

“They came up here and prepared and jumped on him and got the big hits when they needed to,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @CST_soxvan



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