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Red Sox win World Series, defeat Cardinals in Game 6

CBSSports.com staff and wire reports
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BOSTON -- There hasn't been a party like this in New England for nearly a century.

Turmoil to triumph. Worst to first.

David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox, baseball's bearded wonders, capped their remarkable turnaround by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday night to win their third World Series championship in 10 seasons.

With the celebration under way, Ortiz took a microphone on the field and addressed a city still reeling from the marathon bombings about a mile away in April.

"This is for you, Boston. You guys deserve it," said Ortiz, the Series MVP. "We've been through a lot this year and this is for all of you and all those families who struggled."

And this time, the Red Sox didn't have to fly the trophy home. For the first time since Babe Ruth's team back in 1918, Boston won the title at Fenway Park. The 101-year-old stadium, oldest in the majors, was packed with 38,447 singing, shouting fans anticipating a celebration more than a lifetime in the making.

"Maybe they won't have to go another 95 years," said John Farrell, a champion in his first season as Boston's manager.

Shane Victorino, symbolic of these resilient Sox, returned from a stiff back and got Boston rolling with a three-run double off the Green Monster in the third inning on a 93 mph fastball from rookie sensation Michael Wacha. Pumped with emotion, Victorino pounded his chest with both fists three times.

John Lackey became the first pitcher to start and win a Series clincher for two different teams, allowing one run over 6 2/3 innings 11 years after his Game 7 victory as an Angels rookie in 2002.

With fans roaring on every pitch and cameras flashing, Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out. The Japanese pitcher jumped into the arms of catcher David Ross while Red Sox players rushed from the dugout and bullpen as the Boston theme Dirty Water played on the public-address system.

There wasn't the "Cowboy Up!" comeback charm of "The Idiots" from 2004, who swept St. Louis to end an 86-year title drought. There wasn't that cool efficiency of the 2007 team that swept Colorado.

"We have a lot of players with heart. We probably don't have the talent that we had in '07 and '04, but we have guys that are capable [of staying] focused and do the little things," Ortiz said.

This time, they were Boston Strong -- playing for and trying to comfort a city shaken by the marathon tragedy.

"We've dealt with a lot," Dustin Pedroia said. "But our team came together."

After late-season slumps in 2010 and 2011, the embarrassing revelations of a chicken-and-beer clubhouse culture that contributed to the ouster of manager Terry Francona, and the daily tumult of Bobby Valentine's one-year flop, these Red Sox grew on fans.

Just like the long whiskers on the players' faces, starting with Gomes' scruffy spring training beard.

"As soon as we went to Fort Myers, the movie's already been written," Gomes said. "All we had to do was press play, and this is what happened."

The only player remaining from the 2004 champs, Ortiz had himself a Ruthian World Series. He batted .688 (11 for 16) with two home runs, six RBI and eight walks -- including four in the finale -- for a .760 on-base percentage in 25 plate appearances, the second-highest in Series history.

Even slumping Stephen Drew delivered a big hit in Game 6, sending Wacha's first pitch of the fourth into the right-center bullpen for a 4-0 lead. By the time the inning was over, RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Victorino had made it 6-0, and the Red Sox were on their way.

"Hey, I missed two games. It's time to shine," Victorino said.

All over New England, from Connecticut's Housatonic River up to the Aroostook in Maine, Boston's eighth championship can be remembered for the beard-yanking bonding.

Fans bid up the average ticket price to over $1,000 on the resale market and some prime locations went for more than $10,000 each. Nearly all the Red Sox rooters stood in place for 30 minutes after the final out to view the presentation of the trophy and MVP award. A few thousand remained when a beaming Ortiz came back on the field with his son 75 minutes after the final out.

"It was an awesome atmosphere here tonight," Lackey said.

The victory capped an emotional season for the Red Sox, one heavy with the memory of the events that unfolded on Patriots Day, when three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox wore "Boston Strong" logos on their left sleeves, erected a large emblem on the Green Monster and moved the logo into the center-field grass as a constant reminder.

"There's I think a civil responsibility that we have wearing this uniform, particularly here in Boston," Farrell said. "And it became a connection initially, the way our guys reached out to individuals or to hospital visits. And it continued to build throughout the course of the season. I think our fans, they got to a point where they appreciated the way we played the game, how they cared for one another. And in return they gave these guys an incredible amount of energy to thrive on in this ballpark."

Red, white and blue fireworks fired over the ballpark as Commissioner Bud Selig presented the World Series trophy to Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino, leaving a haze over the field.

"When the fireworks went off at the presentation of the trophy out there, when the ballpark was filled with smoke, it was completely surreal," Farrell said. "To be in this position, given where we've come from, reflecting back a year ago at this time, there's been a lot that's happened in 13 months."

Players then put on goggles for the champagne celebration in the cramped clubhouse.

"They just found ways to win," Henry said. "At some point you have to think there's something special happening here."

Among the players blamed for the indifferent culture at the end of the Francona years, Lackey took the mound two days shy of the second anniversary of his elbow surgery and got his first Series win since the 2002 clincher. He pitched shutout ball into the seventh, when Carlos Beltran's RBI single ended the Cardinals' slump with runners in scoring position at 0 for 14.

Junichi Tazawa came in with the bases loaded and retired Allen Craig on an inning-ending grounder to first. Brandon Workman followed in the eighth and Uehara finished.

St. Louis had been seeking its second title in three seasons, but the Cardinals sputtered after arriving in Boston late Tuesday following a seven-hour flight delay caused by mechanical problems. Symbolic of the team's struggles, reliever Trevor Rosenthal tripped while throwing a pitch to Ortiz in the eighth, balking Pedroia to second.

"They were some frustrated guys in there, but overall you can't ask us to go about any better than how our guys did," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Not too many people expected us to do what we did."

Wacha entered 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his postseason career but gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings, the shortest start of the 22-year-old's big-league career.

"I just made too many mistakes," he said. "It doesn't matter how hard you're throwing if you can't locate it."

Boston was a 30-1 underdog to win the World Series last winter but joined the 1991 Minnesota Twins as the only teams to win titles one season after finishing in last place. Now, the Red Sox will raise another championship flag before their home opener next season April 4 against Milwaukee.

Boston hit just .211, the lowest average for a Series champion in 39 years and 13 points lower than the Cardinals. But after falling behind 2-1 in the Series on the first-game ending obstruction call in postseason history, the Red Sox tied it the following night on the first-game ending pickoff in postseason play. That sparked the Red Sox to three straight wins and another title.

"When we started rolling," Ortiz said, "nobody ever stopped the train."

Notes

Boston also won the Series at Fenway Park in 1912. The Red Sox won the first World Series in 1903 at the Huntington Avenue Grounds and in 1916 at Braves Field. ... Catfish Hunter and Jimmy Key each won Series clinchers for two clubs, as a starter and reliever. ... Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP, hit .158 (3 for 19) with no RBI.

 
 
 
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Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Carpenter
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Boston

S. Victorino
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 4
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B5030010 .217
Carlos Beltran, RF4011002 .268
Matt Holliday, LF3000102 .246
Allen Craig, DH4020003 .375
Yadier Molina, C4010000 .274
Matt Adams, 1B4000014 .222
David Freese, 3B4000024 .179
Jon Jay, CF4010012 .192
Daniel Descalso, SS4110011 .154
Michael Wacha, P0000000 .000
   Lance Lynn, P0000000 .000
   Seth Maness, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Siegrist, P0000000 .000
   Carlos Martinez, P0000000 .000
   Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
   Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
Totals3619116  
Batting
2B - Matt Carpenter (3, Lackey)
RBI - Carlos Beltran (15)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran (7)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Matt Carpenter (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Michael Wacha (L,4-1) 3.2566451 2.64
Lance Lynn 0200100 5.19
Seth Maness 0.1000010 1.80
Kevin Siegrist 1.1000010 3.00
Carlos Martinez 1.2100010 3.55
Randy Choate 0000100 0.00
Trevor Rosenthal 1000110 0.00
IBB - Ortiz by Michael Wacha, Ortiz by Trevor Rosenthal
HBP - Gomes (by Michael Wacha)
Pitches-Strikes - Michael Wacha 76-44, Lance Lynn 10-5, Seth Maness 3-3, Kevin Siegrist 26-15, Carlos Martinez 19-12, Randy Choate 4-0, Trevor Rosenthal 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Michael Wacha 2-4, Kevin Siegrist 2-2, Carlos Martinez 1-3, Trevor Rosenthal 2-0
Batters Faced - Michael Wacha 21, Lance Lynn 3, Seth Maness 1, Kevin Siegrist 5, Carlos Martinez 6, Randy Choate 1, Trevor Rosenthal 4
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4220110 .344
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5000003 .238
David Ortiz, DH1200410 .353
Mike Napoli, 1B5011045 .217
Jonny Gomes, LF3110102 .167
Shane Victorino, RF3024100 .216
Xander Bogaerts, 3B4000016 .296
Stephen Drew, SS4121002 .111
David Ross, C4000023 .240
John Lackey, P0000000 .000
   Junichi Tazawa, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Workman, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
Totals3368679  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (4, Wacha), Shane Victorino (2, Wacha)
HR - Stephen Drew (1, Wacha)
RBI - Mike Napoli (7), Shane Victorino 4 (12), Stephen Drew (4)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli (1), Shane Victorino 4 (6)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Drew-Napoli
E - Dustin Pedroia (1, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Lackey (W,3-1) 6.2911150 2.77
Junichi Tazawa (H,6) 0.1000000 1.23
Brandon Workman 1000000 0.00
Koji Uehara 1000010 0.66
WP - John Lackey 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 105-76, Junichi Tazawa 2-1, Brandon Workman 9-6, Koji Uehara 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 7-8, Junichi Tazawa 1-0, Brandon Workman 2-1
Batters Faced - John Lackey 30, Junichi Tazawa 1, Brandon Workman 3, Koji Uehara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38447
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 49
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dana DeMuth