The winner of Game 1 undoubtedly has an advantage for the rest of a World Series, which is why Red Sox manager John Farrell and his team were feeling good Wednesday night.
The Red Sox took the series opener 8-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park, building a 5-0 lead after two innings and cruising to their ninth consecutive World Series victory. Boston swept St. Louis in 2004 and Colorado Rockies in 2007 in their last two Series appearances.
The winner of the first game went on to win 62 percent of all World Series, including nine of the last 10 and 14 of the last 16. The only exceptions in that span were the 2002 Anaheim Angels and 2009 New York Yankees.
“Whether we view this as three different series inside of one — a two-game set here, three (in St. Louis), possibly two back here — always getting that first (win) out of the way is a good feeling to continue to try to build some momentum,” Farrell said. “I thought we played a very good game all-around.”
The Red Sox put on an impressive performance. Left-hander Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings. First baseman Mike Napoli hit a three-run double in the first inning to open the scoring, and designated hitter David Ortiz also had three RBIs, including a two-run home run.
The Red Sox will try to keep the momentum going Thursday night in Game 2 with right-hander John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA regular season; 2-0, 3.00 postseason) facing Cardinals rookie right-hander Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78; 3-0, 0.43).
Lackey beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series and the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. In 16 career postseason games, including 14 starts, he is 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA.
Wacha is the breakout star of the postseason, winning all three starts and allowing only one run in 21 innings. He was named MVP of the National League Championship Series after holding the Los Angeles Dodgers scoreless over 13 2/3 innings in two starts.
MLB Team Report — Boston Red Sox — NOTES, QUOTES
WORLD SERIES: Red Sox 1, Cardinals 0
NEXT: Cardinals (Michael Wacha, regular season: 4-1, 2.78; postseason: 3-0, 0.43) at Red Sox (John Lackey, regular season: 10-13, 3.52; postseason: 2-0, 3.00)
–RHP Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start Game 4 of the World Series despite arm fatigue. Buchholz missed half of the season due to a neck strain and a shoulder ailment. Speaking about his arm to ESPNBoston.com on Wednesday, he said, “It’s just a little dead at certain points. It’s not like a pinpoint straight spot where I can say, ‘Yeah, there it is.’ It’s just general. (It’s) just a feeling you don’t like feeling going into the World Series. It’s not out of the ordinary, at the same time this is when you want to be at your best, and that’s what I’m trying to get back to.”
–OF Jonny Gomes, a right-handed hitter, started again in left field Wednesday night against a right-handed starter in Game 1 of the World Series. Gomes was in the lineup against St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright rather than left-handed-hitting OF Daniel Nava. Gomes has made seven starts to Nava’s four in the postseason. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Gomes likely will start in Game 2 on Thursday night against St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha. The Red Sox are 7-0 in Gomes’ postseason starts. “With Wainwright and Wacha, there’s not the pronounced left/right splits as there might be with Lynn and Kelly,” Farrell said, referring to Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn and RHP Joe Kelly, who likely will pitch in the third and fourth games of the series Friday and Saturday at St. Louis.
–OF Daniel Nava, a left-handed hitter, was not in the lineup again Wednesday night against a right-handed starter in Game 1 of the World Series, though he had a pinch double in the eighth inning of an 8-1 win over St. Louis. Nava sat against St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright while right-handed-hitting OF Jonny Gomes started for the seventh time in 11 postseason games. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Nava would likely get a start against either Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly in Game 3 on Friday or RHP Lance Lynn in Game 4 on Saturday because those two pitchers have more pronounced left-right splits than Wainwright and RHP Michael Wacha, who is scheduled to start Game 2. Nava was the sixth player to hit a pinch double in the World Series in the new millennium, joining Orlando Palmeiro, Benji Gil, Geoff Jenkins, Jorge Posada and Travis Ishikawa.
–RHP Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win Wednesday night as the Red Sox beat St. Louis 8-1 in Game 1 of the World Series. Lester allowed five hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. He has won both his career World Series starts, pitching a combined 13 1/3 shutout innings. Lester held Colorado scoreless for 5 2/3 innings to win the clinching Game 4 at Denver in 2007. Lester is just the third pitcher to post consecutive scoreless outings in his first two World Series starts, joining Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner. Lester is the first pitcher to win two consecutive World Series games for one team since Hall of Famer Bob Gibson won Game 7 in 1967 and Game 1 in 1968 for St. Louis.
–DH David Ortiz was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run Wednesday night in an 8-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 1 of the World Series. Ortiz has four home runs this postseason, one short of the Red Sox’s franchise record of five, set by Todd Walker in 2003 and matched by Ortiz in 2004. He nearly added another homer Wednesday, but he was robbed of a grand slam by Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran.
–3B Xander Bogaerts, who turned 21 on Oct. 1, became the 17th-youngest position player to appear in a World Series game as he went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly Wednesday night in Boston’s 8-1 win over St. Louis. The youngest player overall to appear in the World Series was Miguel Cabrera for Florida in 2003.
–1B Mike Napoli went 1-for-4 with a three-run double in the first inning Wednesday night in an 8-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 1 of the World Series. In eight career World Series games, he is hitting .333 (8-for-24) with two doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs. Napoli has a hit in six consecutive World Series games, tying the Yankees SS Derek Jeter for the longest active streak.
–SS Stephen Drew snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a second-inning single Wednesday night in an 8-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 1 of the World Series. Drew went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and is hitting .103 (4-for-39) in the postseason with one triple.
–RHP John Lackey, who is unbeaten in this year’s postseason, will start Thursday night against St. Louis in Game 2 of the World Series. Lackey is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two postseason starts, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series and the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. In 16 career postseason games, including 14 starts, he is 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA. He was 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts during the regular season.
–OF Alex Castellanos was acquired by the Red Sox from the Dodgers in exchange for minor league OF Jeremy Hazelbaker and cash. Castellanos, 27, spent most of the 2013 season in Triple-A but did appear in eight games with the Dodgers, hitting .167 (3-for-18) with one homer and one RBI. Hazelbaker, 26, hit .257/.313/.374 with 11 homers, 54 RBIs and 37 steals for Triple-A Pawtucket this year.
–RHP Pedro Beato was designated for assignment by the Red Sox to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly acquired OF Alex Castellanos. Beato, 26, went 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Boston this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Very important, especially at home. You want to make sure you get … these wins. Going to St. Louis is going to be very tough. And you really have to bear down in these situations and play good baseball and try to get some W’s in front of the home crowd.” — LHP Jon Lester, on winning home games in the World Series, after the Red Sox cruised to an 8-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 at Fenway Park.
MLB Team Report — Boston Red Sox — ROSTER REPORT
–RHP Andrew Bailey (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 13, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 19. He underwent season-ending surgery July 24.
–RHP Alex Wilson (sprained right thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list July 9, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 31. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on July 30 but was shut down after feeling further soreness.
–LHP Andrew Miller (torn ligament in left foot) went on the 15-day disabled list July 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 12. He had season-ending surgery in July and expects to be ready for spring training.
–RHP Joel Hanrahan (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 9. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 16.
–OF Ryan Kalish (right shoulder surgery in January 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 20. He has missed most of the past two seasons with shoulder and neck problems. On Aug. 13, he underwent cervical fusion surgery, which involved joining several bones in the neck to relieve pain.
LHP Jon Lester
RHP John Lackey
RHP Clay Buchholz
RHP Jake Peavy
RHP Koji Uehara (closer)
RHP Junichi Tazawa
LHP Craig Breslow
RHP Brandon Workman
LHP Franklin Morales
LHP Felix Doubront
RHP Ryan Dempster
1B Mike Napoli
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Stephen Drew
3B Will Middlebrooks
DH David Ortiz
INF Xander Bogaerts
LF Jonny Gomes
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
OF Daniel Nava
OF Mike Carp
OF Quintin Berry