Michael Wacha came in practically untouchable in the 2013 playoffs for the St. Louis Cardinals, until the Boston Red Sox finally solved the 22-year-old rookie puzzle in Game 6 of the World Series.
Shane Victorino cleared the bases with a three-run triple off the Green Monster in the third inning, and Boston knocked Wacha from the game with three more runs in the fourth on their way to a 6-0 lead Wednesday night. Five of the runs have come with two outs.
The Red Sox are trying to clinch a World Series title at home for the first time since 1918, when Babe Ruth still pitched for them.
Wacha's line, after being removed with two outs in the fourth: Six earned runs, five hits and four walks allowed. Coming in, he had given up three runs, 11 hits and eight walks total in 27 postseason innings.
Wacha allowed a walk to David Ortiz in the first, and put two runners aboard in the second, but both innings ended with strikeouts. In the third, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a leadoff single and, one out later, the Cardinals opted to walk Ortiz intentionally. It looked like a good move after Mike Napoli struck out again, but Wacha hit Jonny Gomes on a 1-1 pitch to load the bases for Victorino.
Getting around on a 2-1 fastball, Victorino lined the pitch off the Monster for a three-run double. Cards catcher Yadier Molina questioned Gomes being called safe after a close play at the plate, but umpire Jim Joyce appeared to get it right.
In the fourth, Stephen Drew hit a 91 mph fastball for a leadoff homer into the bullpen after he came in 4 for 51 in the postseason. But Wacha wasn't out of the woods. Ellsbury hit a double and, with two outs, the Cards walked Ortiz intentionally again. Game 4 starter Lance Lynn came on to relieve and the Red Sox added two more runs, including a an RBI single by Victorino.
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