Red Sox crowned 2013 World Series champions after 6-1 Game 6 victory over Cardinals

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The Red Sox are World Series champions, and they’re celebrating that accomplishment in front of their hometown fans for the first time since 1918.

Red Sox starter John Lackey battled through a bit of early shakiness to deliver 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball and the inspired Boston offense pounded rookie sensation Michael Wacha in a 6-1 Game 6 win over the visiting Cardinals on Wednesday night at a jam-packed and now-champagne-soaked Fenway Park.

MORE: From worst to first — what a difference a year makes

Lackey surrendered nine hits and a walk and the Cardinals seemed to make hard contact off him all night, but the St. Louis offense failed yet again to drive runners in. Junichi Tazawa, Brandon Workman and Koji Uehara combined to close it out.

The heroes on offense for the Red Sox were Shane Victorino, who opened the game’s scoring with a three-run double in the bottom of the third, and Stephen Drew, who emerged from his prolonged postseason slump to slug a solo home run in the fourth. Victorino — a sudden fan favorite in Boston — also had an RBI single.

It’s the third World Series championship for the Red Sox since 2004.

MORE: Fenway Park was absolute bedlam

Team of the century? They certainly have a nice head start.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.