There won’t be a Halloween Game 7 at Fenway Park, but Boston doesn’t care. The Red Sox are world champions.
Behind a strong performance from starter John Lackey and a three-run double from Shane Victorino off St. Louis rookie sensation Michael Wacha, Boston clipped the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-1, in Game 6.
It was a celebration 95 years in the making, one only their most foolishly ardent fans could have imagined in spring training.
After a last-place finish in the American League East in a 2012 season that became the franchise’s biggest summer of discontent in nearly 50 years, the Red Sox for the first time since 1918 celebrated a championship in front of the Fenway Park faithful Wednesday night.
Starter John Lackey blanked the Cards until there were two outs in the seventh and became the first pitcher in history to start and win a Series clincher for two teams. This one came more than 11 years after he won Game 7 as a rookie for the Anaheim Angels in 2002 over San Francisco.
Victorino, whose grand slam in Game 6 against Detroit won the ALCS, was 0 for 10 before he took Wacha off the Green Monster in left with two out in the third. That made the score 3-0 and the Red Sox could already start counting down the outs they needed to complete a worst-to-first run not seen since the 1991 Minnesota Twins.
Koji Uehara, not anointed the closer until June, got the final three outs, ending the game by fanning Matt Carpenter.
The victory makes the Red Sox – the once-cursed, never-won-in-generations Red Sox – the only team with three World Series titles since the century turned 13 years ago.
Standing room seats were selling online for around $900, bleacher seats were going for as much as $1,500 and box seats were pushing a cool $10,000 a pop. The 101-year-old park rocked like it rarely has. It was a cross between a concert, a championship sporting event and a religious revival.
Series MVP David Ortiz, who was walked four times Wednesday, has won three rings for Boston. Wacha, who was 4-0 in October, couldn’t will the Cardinals to force a Game 7.
The Cardinals were a complete bust in this one. They went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Third baseman David Freese, the MVP and unquestioned hero of their 2011 World Series triumph against Texas, was 0 for 4 and finished the series 3 for 19.
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