Gomes draws on double inspiration to blast vital homer

Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:48am EDT
 
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By Larry Fine

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Jonny Gomes craved an opportunity to make an impact in the World Series and drew inspiration from two emotional lifts to blast a game-winning home run for the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

A late substitution in the starting line-up after outfielder Shane Victorino was scratched with a stiff back, Gomes's three-run shot in the sixth snapped a 1-1 tie in Boston's 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that knotted the Fall Classic at 2-2.

Gomes, who had been 0-for-8 at the plate over the first three games of the best-of-seven series, said a pep talk from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and a "Stand Up for Cancer" salute before the sixth inning had provided the boost he needed.

The 32-year-old said he held two signs supporting cancer victims during the tribute in which the sell-out crowd of more than 47,000 at Busch Stadium rose to their feet to honor victims of the disease.

"It was my high school coach who passed away while he was coaching, Bob Leslie, Casa Grand High School (California)," Gomes, who has played for six major league teams, said.

"And little Brady Wein. About four and a half years old and talk about battle-tested. This little kid, he comes out to the ballpark every once in a while, and it was pretty special to be able to do that top of the sixth.

"It really adds to the fairytale that it was for me today."

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