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MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: World Series heroes plentiful for Sox

MLB Notebook: World Series heroes plentiful for Sox

MLB Notebook: World Series heroes plentiful for Sox

Holding a slim, 2-1, lead in the top of the ninth on Sept.11, 1918, submarine pitcher Carl Mays took the mound at Fenway Park with his team three outs away from a victory.

Mays retired leadoff hitter Max Flack on a foul popup to third base and then got Charlie Hollocher -- the rookie shortstop who had led the National League in hits that season -- to fly out to left to Babe Ruth, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth.

With the time of the game still shy of two hours, and with more than 15,000 inside the ballpark watching intently, Mays induced a Les Mann groundout to second for the final out of the 1918 World Series, giving the Red Sox franchise its fourth World Series title in seven seasons.

Red Sox make it three in 10

Boston defeated St. Louis, 6-1, on Wednesday, clinching the franchise's eighth World Series title, and third in the past 10 seasons.

The Red Sox, whose previous seven World Series crowns came in 1903, '12, '15, '16, '18, 2004 and '07, own the fourth-most titles for any franchise. They trail the Yankees (27), Cardinals (11) and Athletics (nine).

The victory at Fenway Park marked the first time the Red Sox had clinched a World Series at home since they defeated the Cubs in Game 6 in 1918. They also clinched at home in 1903 (Huntington Avenue Grounds), '12 (Fenway) and '16 (Braves Field).

The Red Sox became the third team since 1969 to win the World Series after dropping Game 3 to fall into a 2-1 hole; the '79 Pirates (against the Orioles) and 2003 Marlins (against the Yankees) were the other two.

Lackey wins second World Series clincher

Boston right-hander John Lackey picked up the win in Game 6 after allowing one run on nine hits, one walk and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

 

Lackey, who recorded a Game 7 victory with the Angels in 2002, became the seventh pitcher to start and win multiple World Series clinchers, joining Art Nehf (Game 8 for the Giants in 1921 and Game 5 for the Giants in '22), Lefty Gomez (Game 6 for the Yankees in '36 and Game 5 for the Yankees in '37), Vic Raschi (Game 5 for the Yankees in '49 and Game 6 for the Yankees in '51), Sandy Koufax (Game 4 for the Dodgers in '63 and Game 7 for the Dodgers in '65), Bob Gibson (Game 7 for the Cardinals in '64 and Game 7 for the Cardinals in '67), Andy Pettitte (Game 4 for the Yankees in '98 and Game 6 for the Yankees in 2009).

Lackey became the first Red Sox starter to pick up a World Series win in a Game 6 since Mays went the distance in the clincher in 1918. In that effort, Mays allowed one run and three hits with two walks and a strikeout. The only other Red Sox starter to win a Game 6 was Bill Dinneen in 1903.

MVP Papi has Series for the ages

David Ortiz drew four walks and scored two runs in a hitless Game 6, striking out in his only official at-bat. Ortiz, who won the World Series MVP Award, finished the six-game Fall Classic with a .688/.760/1.188/1.948 slash line and with 11 hits in 16-at-bats, seven runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and eight walks.

Ortiz became the fourth player to draw four walks in a World Series clincher. The stories for the previous three:

• In Game 7 in 1909, Pirates outfielder Fred Clarke, who entered the affair with a .799 World Series OPS, drew four walks and scored twice as his team defeated the Tigers, 8-0.

• In Game 7 in 1924, Giants outfielder Ross Youngs, who came into the contest with a .499 OPS, drew four walks and scored once as his team lost to the Senators, 4-3.

• In Game 7 in 1926, Ruth, who entered the game with a 1.198 OPS, drew four walks and scored once as his Yankees lost to the Cardinals, 3-2. Ruth's final walk of that game came in the ninth against Pete Alexander after the Cardinals right-hander had retired the first two batters of the inning. Ruth was then caught trying to steal second and the World Series was over.

Ortiz reached safely at least three times in five straight games this World Series, joining the Giants' Barry Bonds in 2002 as the only players to accomplish that feat.

Ortiz's overall rate stats for this Fall Classic:

• His .688 batting average ranked second highest behind Billy Hatcher's .750 in 1990.

• His .760 on-base percentage ranked second highest behind Hatcher's .800 in 1990.

• His 1.188 slugging percentage tied him with Charlie Keller (1939) for the eighth highest.

• His 1.948 OPS ranked as the seventh highest.

Victorino comes up big
Shane Victorino had a four-RBI night, driving in three with a bases-loaded double in the third and collecting his fourth RBI with a fourth-inning single. Victorino was the 17th player -- and first since Hideki Matsui drove in six runs in Game 6 in 2009 -- to knock in at least four in a World Series clincher.

Wednesday's game marked the fourth four-RBI performance of Victorino's postseason career. Those four are the most in playoff history, with Yogi Berra, Steve Garvey, Jim Thome, Albert Pujols, Ortiz and Matsui all having three apiece. Victorino had two such games in the 2008 postseason and had two this October.

Here and there
• Boston posted a 1.84 team ERA, making it one of 23 teams in the live-ball era to finish a World Series with a mark less than 2.00. The others: the 1920 Indians, '22 Giants, '30 Athletics, '33 Giants, '38 Yankees, '39 Yankees, '41 Yankees, '43 Yankees, '44 Browns, '44 Cardinals, '50 Yankees, '51 Yankees, '54 Giants, '61 Yankees, '63 Dodgers, '66 Orioles, '69 Mets, '83 Orioles, '85 Royals, '90 Reds, 2001 D-backs and '12 Giants.

Stephen Drew, who entered the game with one hit in this World Series, had two knocks in Game 6, including a fourth-inning home run. Drew was the ninth No. 8 hitter to homer in a World Series clincher, and the second consecutive shortstop among this group. In 2010, Edgar Renteria did it as a member of the Giants. The other seven: Giants catcher Frank Snyder in 1923, Braves catcher Del Crandall in '57, Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski in '60, Yankees third baseman Clete Boyer in '64, Mets second baseman Al Weis in '69, Orioles second baseman Rich Dauer in '79 and Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey in '83.

• Boston finished the World Series with a .211 batting average and a .621 OPS. The .211 average was the lowest for a World Series champ since the 1974 Athletics dispatched the Dodgers in five games and batted .211. The .621 OPS was the lowest for a World Series victor since the 2003 Marlins posted a .582 mark and defeated the Yankees in six games.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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