BOSTON (AP) — A look at Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night as the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Boston Red Sox:
JOB WELL DONE: John Lackey exits with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning, tips his cap to the cheering crowd at Fenway.
Cardinals had cut it to 6-1 on Carlos Beltran's run-scoring single, but Junichi Tazawa keeps it right there by retiring Allen Craig on a grounder.
RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Matt Holliday flies out with runners at the corners to end the fifth, and the Cardinals are 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position tonight. That makes them 6 for 40 (.150) in the Series. They've stranded six overall tonight.
St. Louis caught a break in the fourth when Gold Glove second baseman Dustin Pedroia botched a grounder that should have been an inning-ending double play. John Lackey, however, pitched out of trouble again by retiring Matt Adams on a liner to left and throwing a called third strike past David Freese.
OPENING UP: Even slumping Stephen Drew gets in on the act with a home run on the first pitch of the fourth. Red Sox lead 4-0 against Michael Wacha.
Jacoby Ellsbury also tees off for a rocket that hits the low wall in right-field near the 380-foot sign. It's a double, and Wacha gets pulled after an intentional walk to Big Papi that puts runners at the corners with two outs.
It's the third walk for Ortiz tonight — two intentional. Cardinals have obviously seen enough of him in this Series.
Ellsbury scores on Mike Napoli's single off Lance Lynn, and a walk to Jonny Gomes brings up Shane Victorino with the bases loaded again. Just an RBI single this time to make it 6-0.
BOBBY V: Wonder what Bobby Valentine is thinking tonight. Bet he's watching, maybe at his restaurant in Connecticut?
BAGS FULL: Shane Victorino does it again with the bases loaded.
His three-run double high off the Green Monster gives Boston a 3-0 lead in the third inning. It was Victorino's first hit since that go-ahead grand slam in the ALCS clincher against Detroit.
Victorino was 0 for 10 in the Series before connecting. He sat out the previous two games with a stiff back, but returned for this one and was dropped from his regular No. 2 spot to sixth in the lineup.
Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch to load the bases — the first batter rookie Michael Wacha had ever hit in his career.
Victorino, the master of getting hit by pitches, standing almost on top of the plate. He gets ahead 2-0 in the count before pouncing on a 2-1 fastball.
Wacha doesn't have it tonight. In truth, his stuff didn't look as sharp in Game 2 at Fenway as it did during the NL playoffs, but he held Boston in check and won 4-2.
DIDN'T MISS A BEAT: Is anyone else amazed at how consistently hard Allen Craig has hit the ball in this Series after missing so much time with that sprained foot? DH, pinch-hitting, hasn't mattered. He's been right on Red Sox pitching. Now 2 for 2 in Game 6 and 6 for 14 in the Series.
QUICK WORK: John Lackey needs only five pitches to get through the third inning — even though Matt Carpenter singled with one out.
Daniel Descalso looked at three straight strikes to start the inning. After the single by Carpenter, Carlos Beltran grounded into a double play.
EARLY ESCAPES: Both starters pitch out of trouble in the second inning.
St. Louis put two on with none out but failed to score. John Lackey threw a two-out wild pitch that pushed the runners to second and third, then struck out Jon Jay.
That left the Cardinals 6 for 36 with runners in scoring position during the Series after setting a franchise record with a .330 mark in those situations during the regular season.
You get the feeling if the Cardinals can break through for one big hit at the right time in this game, the floodgates might open. But without it, they'll go home lamenting their lack of clutch hitting in this Series.
Matt Adams flied out to deep left, but David Freese skied to shallow center on a hittable breaking ball. Tim McCarver on Fox notes Freese, the hometown star for St. Louis in the 2011 Series, has stranded 15 runners this postseason.
Forgive us, but Freese has looked frozen all Series.
Lackey and Boston manager John Farrell all fired up.
Boston put two on to start the bottom of the second and failed to score, too. Chose not to bunt with rookie Xander Bogaerts. Not a surprise — the Red Sox don't like to sacrifice.
Wacha got two foul popups and a strikeout to keep it scoreless.
PACKED HOUSE: Man, oh man, are they fired up in Boston.
Red Sox looking to clinch a World Series title on their own field at fabled Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years, a stretch that's lasted from Babe Ruth to Big Papi.
Needless to say, tickets have been going for quite a pretty penny.
To do it, Boston will have to overcome rookie sensation Michael Wacha, who is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four postseason starts. Can the kid do it again — under save-the-season pressure in this electric environment — and force a Game 7?
Red Sox right-hander John Lackey is trying to become the first pitcher to start and win the clinching game of a World Series for two teams. He won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Anaheim Angels as a rookie against San Francisco.
And we're underway in Game 6. Lackey works a 1-2-3 first inning, helped out by a tough play from second baseman Dustin Pedroia in short right field.
BALLPARK BUZZ: Fenway Park was jumping early as fans poured into the old yard, hoping for a big night. Program vendors loudly reminded folks to pick up their souvenirs on the way in.
The ballpark organist tried to set a lucky tone, playing "This Magic Moment" and "Daydream Believer" and "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover" during batting practice.
Great version of the national anthem by local band The Dropkick Murphys. Felt like last call at a packed Irish pub.
That came right after Red Sox greats Carlton Fisk and Luis Tiant threw out the first balls. Fisk, still a king at Fenway for the home run that won Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, got right in the spirit that has taken over this team — before his toss, he put on a playful beard for the ceremonies.