The championship party in Boston is underway.
The Red Sox are the 2013 World Series champions after a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 at Fenway Park. It’s the first Red Sox title clinched at home since 1918.
John Lackey set the tone right from the start with a brilliant pitching performance. He threw six shutouts innings before giving up St. Louis’ only run of the game in the seventh. His final stat line was 6 2/3 innings, nine hits, one earned run and five strikeouts.
Boston’s offense awoke in the third inning when Shane Victorino came up with another clutch hit. He cleared the bases with a triple that gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. The Sox tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning with a solo home run from Stephen Drew, and RBI singles from Mike Napoli and Victorino.
The Cardinals scored a run in the seventh inning and were poised for more with the bases loaded, but Allen Craig grounded out to first base and St. Louis missed a major opportunity to mount a serious comeback.
In the top of the ninth, Koji Uehara was just as dominant as he’s been all season. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning and finished off the game with a strikeout of Matt Carpenter. Uehara leaped into the arms of catcher David Ross as the celebrations commenced.
This World Series win is the eighth in the history of the Red Sox, and their third since 2000.
Good night everyone, and check out NESN.com for complete post-game coverage.
Final, Red Sox win 6-1: The Red Sox have won the World Series!
Uehara got Jon Jay to fly out to Jonny Gomes in left field to begin the inning.
Daniel Descalso also flied out to left, which put the Red Sox one out away from a title.
Down to his last strike, Matt Carpenter fouled off a few pitches before Uehera struck him out to clinch the first Red Sox championship won at Fenway Park since 1918.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Three outs. That’s all that stands between the Red Sox and a World Series title.
Koji Uehara will enter to try to close out Game 6. He’ll have a five-run lead to work with.
11:07 p.m., Red Sox 6-1: Randy Choate walked Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. Trevor Rosenthal will now enter.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-1: These fans can feel it.
Brandon Workman worked a perfect eighth inning, and the Red Sox are three defensive outs away from a World Series title.
The Red Sox will send the top of the order to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-1: Stephen Drew singled with two outs in the seventh inning. But the Red Sox failed to tack on.
Shane Victorino flied out to left field for the first out, and Xander Bogaerts flied out to right field for the second out.
Drew then singled into left, but Carlos Martinez shut off the inning by retiring David Ross on a fly ball to center.
Brandon Workman now enters with the Red Sox six outs away from a World Series title.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-1: Junichi Tazawa recorded the final out of the seventh inning.
Allen Craig hit a sharp ground ball to first base with the bases loaded. Mike Napoli knocked it down and flipped to Tazawa for the out.
The Cardinals scratched across a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Carlos Beltran. Tazawa closed off the rally, though, and the Red Sox are now six defensive outs away from a World Series title.
John Lackey received a standing ovation as he exited with two outs in the seventh. Lackey tipped his cap to the fans who showered him with chants of “Lackey! Lackey!”
Lackey gave up one run on nine hits. He struck out five and walked one while throwing 105 pitches (76 strikes).
10:41 p.m., Red Sox 6-1: John Lackey lobbied for one more hitter, and John Farrell gave him the opportunity. Lackey was unable to escape the jam, though.
The Cardinals have already scored one run in the seventh inning. Farrell is now turning to Junichi Tazawa with the bases loaded and two outs. Allen Craig is Tazawa’s first opponent.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-0: Kevin Siegrist came back out to face David Ortiz.
He struck out the locked-in slugger to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. Crazy, right?
Carlos Martinez then took over. He struck out Mike Napoli and retired Jonny Gomes on a ground ball to short.
John Lackey will look to keep rolling along in the seventh inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-0: John Lackey is stepping up for Boston.
Lackey tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning to pull the Red Sox to within nine defensive outs of a World Series title.
Dustin Pedroia made a terrific play to help record the second out. Yadier Molina drilled a hot shot to second base, and Pedroia got a little dirty while making a nice pick.
Lackey struck out Matt Adams to end the inning. The right-hander has four strikeouts thus far.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-0: The Red Sox’ offense relented a bit in the fifth inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury reached on a two-out error by second baseman Matt Carpenter, but the Sox were unable to make anything of it.
Kevin Siegrist was the new Cardinals pitcher in the fifth. He recorded two quick outs, as Stephen Drew grounded to first base and David Ross flied out to center field.
Ellsbury then hit a ground ball to second base that ate up Carpenter. Carpenter was unable to recover in time to throw out the speedy Ellsbury.
The Cardinals should have been out of the inning via a pickoff, but Ellsbury managed to make his way back to first base after a lengthy rundown. Pickle!
Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field to end the inning.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-0: The Cardinals have stranded six runners in this game, including two in the fifth inning.
Jon Jay led off with a slow roller toward second base. Stephen Drew charged it, but his throw sailed over Mike Napoli’s head. It was a difficult play, and Jay might have reached safely even with a good throw. It was ruled an infield single, and the Red Sox actually caught a break, as the ball stayed in play.
Drew made an excellent play for the first out four pitches later. Daniel Descalso hit a line drive up the middle, and Drew laid out to make a diving grab.
Matt Carpenter increased St. Louis’ threat with a single into right field. Jay, who moved up to second base, then tagged up and advanced to third on Carlos Beltran’s flyout to deep right.
Matt Holliday, batting with runners at the corners, had a good opportunity to get the Cardinals on the board, but he flied out to Shane Victorino for the third out.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-0: Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging to end the fourth inning, but the damage was certainly done.
The Red Sox scored three runs in the fourth inning to grab a 6-0 lead in Game 6. Boston also scored three runs in the third inning.
Stephen Drew kicked off the fourth-inning damage with a solo home run into the Red Sox’ bullpen. Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino then added to the lead with a pair of two-out RBI singles.
9:42 p.m., Red Sox 6-0: It’s been all Red Sox in Game 6 thus far.
Mike Napoli greeted Lance Lynn with a single into center field to make it 5-0. Shane Victorino followed with a two-out RBI single into left field to give the Red Sox a 6-0 lead.
Mike Matheny is once again turning to his bullpen. Seth Maness will enter with the bases loaded and Xander Bogaerts coming up.
9:34 p.m., Red Sox 4-0: Stephen Drew stepped to the plate in the fourth inning hitting .078 (4-for-51) in the postseason. His fifth hit of the playoffs was a big one.
Drew hammered a solo homer into the Red Sox’ bullpen to lead off the fourth inning. It’s the first home run of the postseason for Drew, who hit 13 long balls during the regular season.
Jacoby Ellsbury nearly left the yard as well. His deep drive to right field hit off the base of the wall and resulted in a double.
Ellsbury took third base when Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field, and the Cardinals intentionally walked David Ortiz with two outs and first base open.
Lance Lynn is coming in to pitch for the Cardinals.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: John Lackey is fired up.
Lackey, who got a huge strikeout to end the second inning, ended the fourth inning with another big K.
Allen Craig hit a one-out single, and Yadier Molina hit what looked to be a double-play ball. Dustin Pedroia made a rare error, though, and the inning stayed alive with runners at first and second and only one out.
Lackey picked up his second baseman. Matt Adams lined out to left field, and David Freese struck out on a fastball on the outside corner.
For the second time in this game, Lackey walked off the mound pumping his fist.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Shane Victorino must have been chomping at the bit in Games 4 and 5.
Victorino, who missed the last two games with lower back tightness, drilled a line drive high off the Green Monster with the bases loaded in the third inning of Game 6. It cleared the bases and gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single. He moved up to second base when Dustin Pedroia hit a broken-bat grounder to third base.
The Cardinals understandably intentionally walked David Ortiz with first base open and one out. Michael Wacha then moved to within an out of escaping the inning by striking out Mike Napoli.
Wacha plunked Jonny Gomes with his third pitch of the at-bat. That set the stage for Victorino’s three-run double. Gomes just slid in safely for the third run. Victorino took third base on the throw home, and emphatically pounded his chest amid a Fenway frenzy.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey threw just five pitches in the third inning.
Lackey struck out Daniel Descalso to begin the frame. Descalso looked at three straight fastballs.
Matt Carpenter had no intention of doing the same. He swung at the first pitch and lifted a line drive just over Stephen Drew’s outstretched glove for a one-out single.
Carlos Beltran also swung at the first pitch, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play. Drew made the play, stepped on the bag and fired to first.
End 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox — like the Cardinals — put their first two hitters on base in the second inning. And — like the Cardinals — the Red Sox failed to get on the scoreboard.
Jonny Gomes led off the bottom of the second inning with a single into center field. Jon Jay initially charged it, but pulled up upon realizing that he had no chance to make the catch.
Shane Victorino, owner of some sweet cleats, followed Gomes’ leadoff single with a five-pitch walk. That set up runners at first and second for Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts has been terrific this postseason, but the rookie failed to produce a big hit in the second inning. He hacked at the first pitch and popped out to catcher Yadier Molina.
Stephen Drew, who has had an awful postseason offensively, saw his woes continue. He popped out down the right field line before David Ross struck out swinging to end the inning and the threat.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: John Lackey came up with a huge strikeout to end the top of the second inning.
Allen Craig led off the second with a line drive off the left field wall. Craig, who is dealing with a foot injury, isn’t running well, so it was a single all the way for the Cardinals slugger.
Yadier made it back-to-back singles to begin the second. He, too, ripped a base hit into left field.
Lackey buckled down from there. Matt Adams got a good piece of one, but Jonny Gomes snagged the line drive just in front of the warning track. David Freese, who has had a frustrating series, flied out to Shane Victorino in right field for the second out.
Lackey uncorked a wild pitch with Jon Jay batting. That enabled Craig and Molina to each move up a station, setting up runners at second and third for Jay. Lackey escaped the inning by striking out Jay with a curveball down and out of the zone.
Fenway Park erupted as Lackey pumped his first and walked off the mound.
End 1st, 0-0: How crazy are sports?
Minutes after Carlton Fisk threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Dustin Pedroia hooked a fly ball deep down the left field line. It was eerily similar — in terms of the ball’s flight — to Fisk’s game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Pedroia’s home run bid sailed just foul.
Pedroia ended up grounding out to second base, which marked the second out, as Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to begin the bottom of the first inning.
Michael Wacha walked the red-hot David Ortiz despite jumping ahead in the count, 0-2. Mike Napoli couldn’t build anything from there. He struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia was awarded his third career Gold Glove on Tuesday. We saw why in the first inning of Game 6.
Pedroia made a terrific sliding play in shallow right field. He was pulled over and playing deep because of the shift, and as a result, was able to make an excellent stop on a sharply hit grounder off the bat of Carlos Beltran.
Pedroia’s play helped record the second out. The first out came on a fly ball to deep left field. Matt Carpenter flicked it toward the warning track, and Jonny Gomes retreated to make the play before banging into the wall.
Matt Holliday ended the inning with a bouncer down the first base line. Mike Napoli gobbled it up and won a footrace to the bag.
8:08 p.m.: John Lackey delivers a first-pitch strike. Game 6 of the 2013 World Series is underway.
7:58 p.m.: Carlton Fisk — who knows a thing or two about Game 6 heroics — and Luis Tiant took part in the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway. Fisk even rocked a fake beard.
The Dropkick Murphy’s are now performing, and it’s a madhouse at Fenway.
7:01 p.m.: With a 3-2 series lead and playing at home, the Red Sox have a clear-cut advantage. But what do the stats say?
Of the previous 62 times that a World Series has stood at 3-2, the team with the 3-2 lead has gone on to win the series 41 times (66.1 percent). The team with the 3-2 lead has ended the series in Game 6 on 24 occasions (38.7 percent).
Keep in mind that the Cardinals have been in this situation before. St. Louis is 8-1 in elimination games the last three Octobers.
The Cardinals have trailed the World Series 3-2 on six previous occasions. They have forced a Game 7 five times, and proceeded to win the series in all five of those instances.
A team has come back to win the World Series when trailing 3-2 (in the current best-of-seven format) on 19 occasions. The most recent instance came in 2011, when the Cardinals overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Rangers.
The Cardinals will look to become the seventh team in World Series history to win Games 6 and 7 on the road after trailing the series 3-2. It hasn’t been done since the 1979 Pirates.
6:02 p.m.: Shane Victorino said before Game 6 that he feels “a lot better.”
Victorino, who missed Games 4 and 5 with lower back tightness, said that he has progressively gotten better every day.
“I think that John [Farrell] and I discussed before [Game 5] the magnitude of the game and what had happened the night before and I totally understand what he was ?? his understanding of where I was and maybe giving me that extra day and keeping the lineup the way it was,” Victorino said Wednesday. “So I took it at that. And, yeah, like I said, I feel a lot better — physically better today and I’m a go.”
Victorino, as mentioned, will bat sixth in the lineup in Game 6.
5:48 p.m.: Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia reiterated their manager’s insistence that it’s business as usual at Fenway Park before Game 6.
“It’s the same focus that we’ve had since Day 1. We’ve got a game today,” Pedroia said. “We’re going to try our best to go out there and execute our pitch and play the game the right way and try to win that game. This is the game on the schedule that we have to play and try to win. That’s what we’re going to focus on.”
“I agree 100 percent, we’re focused on today,” Victorino added. “We’re not worried about tomorrow. If tomorrow comes, tomorrow comes. But from Day 1, we’ve all focused on the game that’s in fronts of us. What we have tonight, we understand the magnitude. There’s a lot of excitement. And there’s a gentleman across the way (Michael Wacha) that’s been very good this whole postseason. We all understand and we’re just going to go out and give it a hundred percent and leave it on the field. It is what it is.”
Victorino and Pedroia on Tuesday received Gold Gloves for their stellar defensive work this season.
5:27 p.m.: There’s certainly a buzz in the air at Fenway Park. However, it hasn’t quite trickled down into the Red Sox’ clubhouse.
“No, not to try to sound boring, but at the same time just trying to maintain a consistent approach,” John Farrell said when asked if there was anything that indicated a greater sense of anticipation Wednesday. “Stopped at a normal place for a cup of coffee. Chance to kind of collect your thoughts. But not to try to make anything out of the ordinary as far as your daily routine.
“Understanding fully where we are, but to change things up or to change our approach with our players or team, probably be doing a disservice of what has been a constant and a strength for us all year.”
5:20 p.m.: Obviously, the focus is on taking care of business in Game 6. But if there is a Game 7, Jake Peavy is scheduled to take the ball for Boston.
Farrell said Wednesday that Jon Lester, who started Game 5 on Monday, would also be available to pitch in a Game 7.
Besides that, it’s all hands on deck for Game 6.
5:02 p.m.: Shane Victorino will return to the starting lineup for Game 6. He won’t be in his usual No. 2 spot, though.
John Farrell is sticking with Dustin Pedroia in the two-hole, with David Ortiz batting third and Mike Napoli hitting cleanup. Victorino will slide down to sixth, hitting behind Jonny Gomes.
Farrell said that he wanted to keep the top three the same as Game 5. The idea, according to Farrell, is to lengthen out the lineup behind Ortiz, who has been absolutely raking this entire series (my words, not his). The change has nothing to do with Victorino’s injury.
Farrell also said that Victorino is “unrestricted” in right field.The complete Game 6 lineups are below.Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Shane Victorino, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, CJohn Lackey, RHPCardinals
Matt Carpenter, 2B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Allen Craig, DH
Yadier Molina, C
Matt Adams, 1B
David Freese, 3B
Jon Jay, CF
Daniel Descalso, SSMichael Wacha, RHP
8 a.m. ET: One more win.
It’s been the message circulating throughout Boston since the Red Sox won Game 5 of the World Series late Monday night. The Red Sox sit just one victory shy of a World Series title, and although they’re fully aware that sealing the deal isn’t going to be easy, it’s so close that Boston can taste it.
“I think our fans have appreciated the way we’ve gone about playing the game,” Red Sox manage John Farrell said Tuesday. “I think they’ve witnessed guys that care for one another. And in return the way they’ve demonstrated their appreciation, the energy that they create in here, we have certainly fed off of that. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible atmosphere here [Wednesday]. So if we happen to be able to share it with them, that would be great. But we’ve got to take care of business first.”
The Red Sox have demonstrated a great deal of resilience all year, and the World Series has been no different. The Cardinals grabbed a 2-1 series lead on a walk-off obstruction call in Game 3, but the Red Sox wasted no time in shaking off the crushing defeat. The Sox won Games 4 and 5 in St. Louis, and now have an opportunity to close things out in Game 6 in Boston with John Lackey on the mound.
“We’re definitely confident. We played here pretty good this season, and the place, the atmosphere is going to be great,” Lackey said at Fenway Park on Tuesday. “The fans are going to be crazy. But you’ve still got to focus on the task at hand and executing. And just still playing baseball. We’re still one win away.”
Lackey will go up against rookie Michael Wacha in Game 6. Wacha has been lights-out this postseason, so the Red Sox’ offense will certainly have its work cut out for it.
There’s a chance Wednesday that Boston could end up partying well into the night, and NESN.com will have you covered early and often. The first pitch is set for 8:07 p.m. The scene should be electric.