Matt Kenseth, a teammate of Hamlin and Busch who trails Johnson by just four points in the championship battle with four races left, will start fourth, meaning the five-time series champion and Hendrick Motorsports star will be surrounded by teammates from Joe Gibbs Racing at the green flag on Sunday.
The pole is the 17th of Hamlin’s career and his career-best fifth this season.
Cards win Game 2, tie Series at 1-all
BOSTON (AP) — Michael Wacha won again in October and the St. Louis Cardinals got just enough help from Boston, beating the Red Sox 4-2 Thursday night to tie the World Series at 1-all.
Down 2-1 after David Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the sixth, the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the seventh to end Boston’s nine-game winning streak in the World Series that started with a sweep of St. Louis in 2004.
Matt Carpenter’s tying sacrifice fly set off a chain of Red Sox misplays. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia let the wide throw home skip off his glove, then pitcher Craig Breslow made a wild toss that wound up in the Fenway Park seats. Carlos Beltran followed with an RBI single.
Wacha improved to 4-0 this month, pretty impressive for any pitcher, let alone a 22-year-old rookie.
Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth for a save. John Lackey took the loss.
Game 3 is tonight at Busch Stadium. Jake Peavy is set to start for Boston against Joe Kelly.