Photo: David Ortiz
The Boston Red Sox, buoyed by strong pitching by John Lackey and more clutch hitting by Shane Victorino, captured their eighth World Series title with a dominant 6-1 victory here in Game 6 over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The championship was the Red Sox’s third in the last decade, but Wednesday night’s win marked the first time in 95 years that the Red Sox clinched the World Series at Fenway Park before their adoring fans.
Lackey avenged the defeat he suffered in Game 2, holding the Cardinals to just one run over 6 2/3 innings despite giving up nine hits.
He was matched up once again on Wednesday against rookie sensation Michael Wacha, who endured a rough outing for the first time in this year’s playoffs, surrendering six runs and lasting only 3 2/3 innings.
The play of the game came in the bottom of the third inning, when Victorino came up with the bases loaded and drove in all three runners with a double high off the Green Monster in left field.
The right fielder had already entered Boston sporting lore with his clutch hitting in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, when his grand slam home run lifted the Red Sox to victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The Red Sox scored three more runs Wednesday night in the bottom of the fourth: one on a home run by shortstop Stephen Drew and two more on singles by first baseman Mike Napoli and Victorino.
St. Louis’ only run came on a single by Carlos Beltran in the top of the seventh.
Boston’s relievers then came on and were perfect over the final 2 1/3 innings.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was named Series MVP after hitting a whopping .688 (11-for-16) and driving in six runs in as many games.
The Cardinals refused to let Ortiz hurt them with the bat on Wednesday night, intentionally walking him three times. But his teammates made St. Louis pay the price for that strategy, as he scored twice after being granted first base.
The 37-year-old Ortiz also was a major part of the Boston teams that won the championship in 2004 and 2007 with four-game sweeps over the Cardinals and Colorado Rockies, respectively.
The Red Sox went 86 years without winning the World Series, but their three titles over the past decade make them most successful big-league franchise so far this century.