St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox (-117, 7)
Boston leads series 3-2.
The Boston Red Sox rode David Ortiz to a World Series lead and are hoping the slugger has one more great game left this season. Ortiz will take his .733 World Series batting average into Game 6 when the Red Sox host the St. Louis Cardinals with a chance to close out the series. Ortiz matched a World Series record by reaching base safely in nine straight plate appearances and contributed three hits and an RBI to Game 5’s 3-1 victory.
The Cardinals will not only have to face Ortiz but Mike Napoli on Wednesday, with Ortiz moving back to the designated hitter spot and Napoli coming off the bench to play first base in the American League park. “The fact is we’re going home,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Going back to a place that our guys love to play in, in front of our fans.” St. Louis could use some offense of its own after being limited to a total of three runs in the last two games. The bottom of the order is providing very little and the top two hitters (Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson) combined to go 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in Game 5.
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX
WEATHER: Temperatures in mid 40s with partly cloudy skies and winds WNW at 3 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH John Lackey (0-1, 3.68)
Wacha is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four postseason starts but surrendered more than one run for the first time since Sept. 19 in Game 2 at Boston, yielding two runs on three hits and four walks. The 22-year-old needed a season-high 114 pitches to complete the six frames. Wacha allowed a two-run homer to Ortiz that briefly put the Red Sox on top in that contest.
Lackey went up against Wacha in Game 2 and left with a 2-1 lead after 6 1/3 innings despite being at just 95 pitches. Craig Breslow came on and allowed the inherited runners to score, saddling Lackey with the loss. The veteran came out of the bullpen in Game 4 and tossed a scoreless eighth on his between-starts throw day.
* Under is 9-4-1 in the last 14 meetings.
* Cardinals are 3-7 in their last 10 playoff road games.
* Red Sox are 4-0 in their last four Game 6 of a series.
UMP TRENDS - Jim Joyce:
* Over is 4-0 in Joyce's last four games behind home plate.
* Under is 5-0-1 in Joyce's last six interleague games behind home plate.
* Under is 13-6 in Joyce's last 19 games behind home plate vs. Boston.
1. Red Sox RF Shane Victorino (lower back) was held out of the starting lineup in Game 4 and 5 but was available off the bench.
2. Matt Holliday has both of the Cardinals’ home runs in the series and is 1-for-10 against Lackey in his career, with the lone hit a Game 2 triple.
3. Ortiz (11) needs two more hits to tie the record for a single World Series shared by Bobby Richardson (New York Yankees, 1964), Lou Brock (St. Louis, 1968) and Marty Barrett (Boston, 1986).