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Sox hitters come through in clutch
10/25/2004 12:49 AM ET
BOSTON -- Two outs, so what.

That was theme in the Red Sox's 6-2 victory in Game 2 of the World Series over the Cardinals on Sunday night at Fenway Park, as the American League champions took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

All six of Boston's runs came on clutch, two-out hits.

"Two-out hits that score runs are big, and this club has been doing it a lot all year," Red Sox hitting coach Ron Jackson said. "They have been patient and taken advantage of situations and pitch counts."

After Cardinals starter Matt Morris retired the first two batters in the bottom of the first inning, he walked Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Catcher Jason Varitek followed with a triple to center field that put Boston ahead to stay.

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Second baseman Mark Bellhorn delivered a two-out, two-run double to center field in the fourth inning off Morris and shortstop Orlando Cabrera accounted for the final two runs with a two-out single against Cal Eldred off the Green Monster in the sixth inning.

"We knew Morris was going on three days' rest so what we wanted to do was get his pitch count up and hopefully get to their bullpen and do some damage there," Jackson said. "It worked out that way."

Jackson said two-out runs are as demoralizing to one team as it is uplifting to the other.

"That is a big momentum swing," he said. "They are maybe one pitch from getting out of an inning, and then all of a sudden runs are scoring. Our main purpose and goal is to work the pitcher into throwing a lot of pitches, and when we do that, we get guys on base and open up some holes."

First baseman Keith Millar credited the Red Sox lineup from top to bottom for putting the pressure on St. Louis' pitchers.

"We are having great at-bats," he said. "Walks are important and help set up the big hits we got from Jason, Bellhorn and Cabrera. This lineup dictates tough at-bats one through nine."

There is a reason the Red Sox led the Major Leagues in runs scored during the regular season, and hitting home runs was only part of it.

The Cardinals got a taste of it Sunday night.

Two outs, so what.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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