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Road to the World Series: Oct. 30, 2013

As Cards seek comeback, Sox hope for first home Series clincher since 1918

It was home sweet home on Tuesday for the Red Sox, and for the Cardinals it was a day to ponder how historic a World Series comeback might be.

That was the situation for the final workout day as the Road to the World Series was set for its one- or two-game final off-ramp with the home Sox up, 3-2.

"We're certainly looking forward to getting on the field tomorrow, there's no doubt about it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said Tuesday. "We continue to beat that drum. Tomorrow, we get here, we'll focus on that being the sole thing."

That shouldn't be hard to do.

All the Red Sox need to do is win one of two games in their favorite park, Fenway, to earn rings for the third time in the last 10 years and to clinch a Series win for the first time in front of a home crowd since 1918.

And all the Cardinals must do is win Wednesday's Game 6 to force a Game 7. Oh, and then win that one. All that after the team spent much of its Tuesday afternoon passing time on the runway at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport while waiting out a lengthy mechanical delay with its charter flight.

Not that the Cardinals are ready to concede anything, of course.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said on Tuesday that the experience his team gained in playing Games 1 and 2 at Fenway should make it more comfortable when Game 6 begins on Wednesday night, airing at 7:30 ET on FOX with an 8:07 first pitch, and the raucous atmosphere of the old ballpark kicks in.

"Right now we have a better feel of their club, a better feel of their field," Matheny said. "Now it's just a matter of going out and playing ball. It comes down to executing. You have to execute pitches, you have to execute the game plan, and make plays defensively. We know we can do that to a different degree and level than we've done so far. It's just a lot of talk right now unless we do it and we've only got limited time to make it happen."

One guy who's been making it happen in this Fall Classic is David Ortiz. The Red Sox designated hitter, who has reached base safely in all 13 of his World Series games dating to 2004, went 3-for-4 in Game 5 and is batting .733 (11-for-15) in the Series with two home runs, six RBIs, two doubles, five runs scored and four walks.

It will be up to Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha to contain Ortiz and shut down the rest of the Boston offense enough to let the St. Louis bats come through win enough runs to extend the Series to a winner-take-all game.

Good thing the kid's confident.

"I'll keep going about my business the way I have been in all my starts this year," Wacha said. "And not worry about the crowd, and just get locked in with [catcher] Yadi [Molina] behind the plate and just make my pitches."

Veteran John Lackey will try to do the same for the Red Sox, and he has experience to draw from, having pitched the Angels to a World Series win in Game 7 of the 2002 Fall Classic when he was a 24-year-old rookie. That night against the Giants in Anaheim, Lackey became the first rookie to pull off a Game 7 World Series victory since Babe Adams of the Pittsburgh Pirates did it in 1909.

Lackey met with the media on Tuesday and seemed to relish the opportunity to add another clincher to his postseason trophy case.

"I'm focused on tomorrow," Lackey said. "Focused on trying to make some pitches. Trying to help this team win."

Wednesday's World Series game

Game 6: Cardinals (Wacha 4-0, 1.00 ERA postseason) at Red Sox (Lackey 2-1, 3.26 ERA), 7:30 p.m. ET Preview >


Wild Card: Rays 4, Indians 0
Division Series: Red Sox beat Rays, 3-1 | Tigers beat A's, 3-2
Championship Series: Red Sox beat Tigers, 4-2

Wild Card: Pirates 6, Reds 2
Division Series: Cardinals beat Pirates, 3-2 | Dodgers beat Braves, 3-1
Championship Series: Cardinals beat Dodgers, 4-2

2013 postseason schedule

NL Division Series
Game 1: Cardinals 9, Pirates 1
Game 2: Pirates 7, Cardinals 1
Game 3: Pirates 5, Cardinals 3
Game 4: Cardinals 2, Pirates 1
Game 5: Cardinals 6, Pirates 1, St. Louis wins series, 3-2

Game 1: Dodgers 6, Braves 1
Game 2: Braves 4, Dodgers 3
Game 3: Dodgers 13, Braves 6
Game 4: Dodgers 4, Braves 3, Los Angeles wins series, 3-1

AL Division Series
Game 1: Red Sox 12, Rays 2
Game 2: Red Sox 7, Rays 4
Game 3: Rays 5, Red Sox 4
Game 4: Red Sox 3, Rays 1, Boston wins series, 3-1

Game 1: Tigers 3, A's 2
Game 2: A's 1, Tigers 0
Game 3: A's 6, Tigers 3
Game 4: Tigers 8, A's 6
Game 5: Tigers 3, A's 0, Detroit wins series, 3-2

NL Championship Series
Game 1: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (13 innings)
Game 2: Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
Game 3: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 0
Game 4: Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2
Game 5: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 4
Game 6: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 0, St. Louis wins series, 4-2

AL Championship Series
Game 1: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0
Game 2: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5
Game 3: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0
Game 4: Tigers 7, Red Sox 3
Game 5: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3
Game 6: Red Sox 5, Tigers 2, Boston win series, 4-2

World Series (All games on FOX)
Game 1: Red Sox 8, Cardinals 1
Game 2: Cardinals 4, Red Sox 2
Game 3: Cardinals 5, Red Sox 4
Game 4: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2
Game 5: Red Sox 3 Cardinals 1, Boston leads series, 3-2
Game 6: Cardinals at Red Sox, Wednesday, air time 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07
*Game 7: Cardinals at Red Sox, Thursday, air time 7:30 p.m. ET, game 8:07

* - if necessary

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB and read his MLBlog, Youneverknow.