BOSTON (WPRI) – The Boston Red Sox are now three games away from winning the 2013 World Series.
The Sox rode hot bats and a dominant performance from starting pitcher Jon Lester to an 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night.
Boston’s American League-best offense, which was somewhat stifled by the Detroit Tigers in last week’s ALCS, immediately regained its regular season form against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
The Sox loaded the bases in each of the first two innings and found themselves with a 5-0 advantage heading into the third inning.
Mike Napoli hit a three-run double in the first inning, and David Ortiz was a half-inch away from his second postseason grand slam in the second; his would-be homerun was robbed by a leaping Carlos Beltran and Ortiz settled for an RBI sacrifice fly.
Beltran’s great catch didn’t go unpunished, though. The Cardinals left fielder – one of the best postseason players of his generation – was forced to exit the game after the second inning with an apparent rib injury he sustained when he crashed into the wall.
And in the seventh inning, Ortiz struck again, this time with a long fly ball that wouldn’t be caught, his first home run of the World Series and fourth of the postseason.
Comfortable with an early lead, Lester cruised through seven-plus innings, working out of jams and keeping St. Louis hitters off-balanced.
Lester exited the game in the top of the eighth inning, after giving up five hits, striking out eight and walking just one through 7.2 innings of shutout work.
He left the game to a standing ovation.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit a home run in the ninth inning, which was the only run Boston’s bullpen would give up.
The World Series continues Thursday night at 8:07 p.m. Veteran pitcher John Lackey will start for the Red Sox against the Cardinals’ phenomenal 22-year-old rookie Michael Wacha.
Copyright WPRI 12
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