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Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Game 1 a familiar story for Red Sox

By ESPN Stats & Information


Jon Lester dominated the Cardinals with pitches on the outer half of the plate.
A lefty pitching a gem, a big first inning and a David Ortiz homer.

The Boston Red Sox have seen it all before. And it all added up to a World Series-opening rout.

Lester mows Cardinals down
Jon Lester became the third Red Sox southpaw to start Game 1 of a World Series.

The other two: Babe Ruth (1918 against the Cubs) and Bruce Hurst (1986 against the Mets) set a precedent, each with a scoreless effort.

Lester matched that, giving the trio a combined 24 2/3 scoreless innings pitched.

He became the first pitcher with seven or more scoreless innings in a World Series opener since Jose Rijo for the 1990 Reds against the Athletics.

Lester became the third pitcher to not allow a run in each of his first two career World Series starts (allowed no runs in 5 2/3 IP in 2007).

The others are Christy Mathewson (first three) and Madison Bumgarner (first two).

Lester made quick work of the Cardinals in the first inning, thanks to a very effective cutter, which netted him three strikeouts in the first two frames.

Lester finished with eight strikeouts, five with his cutter. The latter matched his season high for strikeouts with that pitch.

In real time, the Cardinals' at-bats in the first two innings lasted only 8 minutes, 41 seconds.

First things first
The Red Sox made Adam Wainwright work in the first two innings. They batted for a combined 38 minutes, 13 seconds.

Boston's big first inning was nothing new.

They scored four runs in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2004 World Series and three runs in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2007 World Series.

Ortiz goes deep again
Ortiz hit his 16th career postseason home run, tying Carlos Beltran for eighth-most all time.

The three runs batted in gave Ortiz has 11 RBIs in his World Series career. Only Dwight Evans (14) has more with the Red Sox.

The Red Sox are 9-1 at Fenway Park in postseason games in which Ortiz homers.

Turning points
The game hinged on two early bases-loaded at-bats. One resulted in a three-run double for Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. The other resulted in a 1-2-3 double play by Cardinals third baseman David Freese.

Napoli is the first player to have a three-run double in a World Series game since Garret Anderson had one for the 2002 Angels against the Giants in Game 7.

He’s also is the first player with a bases-loaded double in the first inning of a World Series game since Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson for the Orioles against the Reds in 1970 and the first player ever with a bases-loaded double in the first inning of Game 1 of a World Series.

The Freese double play was the first 1-2-3 double play in the World Series in 40 years. The last was by John Milner for the Mets against the Athletics in 1973.

The Beltran impact
Beltran left Game 1 with a rib injury after robbing Ortiz of a grand slam.

Beltran has averaged a home run every 10.3 postseason at-bats, the third-lowest rate in history trailing Babe Ruth (a homer every 8.6 at-bats) and Nelson Cruz (every 9.0 at-bats).

Beltran hasn’t robbed a player of a homer in a regular-season game since he snagged one from Ryan Ludwick against the Cardinals in 2008.

Did you know?
This was the ninth straight World Series win for the Red Sox, tied with the Reds for the longest current World Series winning streak and the fourth-longest winning streak in World Series history.

The Red Sox have now won five straight World Series Game 1s and five straight World Series games against the Cardinals. The only team against whom they have had a longer postseason winning streak is the Angels (11 games, 1986-2008).

A continued omen for Thursday?

The Red Sox are now 5-0 all time on Oct. 23 and 24. The Cardinals are 2-7 on those dates.