The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions again.
A 6-1 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday in Game 6 of the 2013 Fall Classic has given the Red Sox their third championship in the past 10 seasons.
It all started in 2004 when the Red Sox famously ended the “Curse of the Bambino” with a four-game sweep of the Cardinals. Three years later, the BoSox swept past Colorado.
Both of those titles were clinched on the road, making this year’s victory even more special as it was the first World Series championship won by the Red Sox in front of the Fenway Park faithful since 1918.
Farrell joined Terry Francona, Ed Barrow and Jake Stahl as the only Red Sox managers to win it all in their first year at the helm.
His club and the 1991 Twins are the only teams to win a World Series one year after finishing at the bottom of its division.
David Ortiz was named Most Valuable Player after hitting an amazing .688 (11- for-16) with two homers, seven runs scored, six RBI and a robust .750 (18- of-24) on-base percentage over the six games.
The Red Sox chased Michael Wacha early in the clincher. Shane Victorino drew first blood against the previously unhittable rookie with a three-run double in the third inning.
Victorino, who missed the previous two games with a back injury and was hitless in the Fall Classic coming into the game, added an RBI single in Boston’s three-run fourth, which began with a Stephen Drew homer.
All told, Wacha (1-1) was charged with six runs on five hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old had given up a combined three runs in four winning starts this postseason.
“Today was one of those days where he got a little more plate on a few pitches,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his young starter. “The game is going to catch up with everybody.’
John Lackey (1-1) became the first pitcher to start and win the clinching game of a World Series for two different teams. The veteran righty tip-toed around baserunners all night, allowing just one run on nine hits and a walk in 6 2/3 frames.
St. Louis, which was looking for its third title since 2007, saw its offense muster just four runs over three consecutive losses to end its otherwise successful campaign. The Cardinals went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and stranded nine.
“They played us and they beat us,” Matheny said. “You’ve got to give credit to good pitching. We had good pitching, they also had good pitching, and we weren’t able to get much going on a consistent basis.”
Both starters survived putting the first two hitters on in the second, but only Lackey continued to wiggle out of jams.
Jacoby Ellsbury started the third with a single, the red-hot Ortiz was intentionally walked two batters later and Jonny Gomes was plunked on the elbow with two away to load the bases.
Wacha had not allowed a hit with a runner in scoring position in these playoffs up to that point, and Victorino changed that with a line drive off the Green Monster, with Gomes sliding in safely at home just before the tag.
Lackey left a pair on again in the fourth, and Drew took the first pitch of the bottom half into the bullpen in right field for his first home run since Sept. 19. The blast also snapped an 0-for-15 slump for the shortstop.
Lance Lynn, St. Louis’ starter in Game 4, relieved Wacha with runners on the corners and two outs and couldn’t limit the damage. Mike Napoli singled in Ellsbury and Victorino added another hit with the bases loaded to drive in Ortiz for a 6-0 Red Sox cushion.
It stayed that way until the Cardinals finally got to Lackey in the seventh when Carlos Beltran singled with two away to plate Daniel Descalso.
Farrell pulled his starter after he walked Matt Holliday to load the bases, and Junichi Tazawa escaped with the healthy lead in tact by retiring Allen Craig on a groundout to first.
Boston’s heralded bullpen did the rest. Brandon Workman hurled a 1-2-3 eighth and Koji Uehara, who tied a record with seven saves in these playoffs, fittingly fanned Matt Carpenter for the final out to begin the celebration on the mound.