WORLD SERIES WATCH: Victorino gives Sox 3-0 lead

Associated Press

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Michael Wacha got two foul popups and a strikeout to keep it scoreless.

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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.

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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.

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