Jon Lester pitched four-hit ball through seven-and-two-thirds innings for his second World Series victory this year, and battery mate David Ross drove home the game-winning run with a ground-rule double, and the Boston Red Sox moved to within one victory of their third championship in ten years with a 3-1 win over the Cardinals on Monday night in St. Louis.
Lester struck out seven batters and walked none. Closer Koji Uehara, the MVP in the American League Championship Series, retired the final four Cardinals hitters to record the save.
Boston’s David Ortiz, normally the team’s designated hitter but playing at first base for the third straight game, went 3-for-4, and is now batting .733 (11-for-15) in the Series. Ross and Xander Bogaerts both recorded two hits for the Bosox.
Boston’s initial run scored in the top of the first inning when Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz went back-to-back with a pair of doubles. St. Louis tied the score on a Matt Holliday home run in the bottom of the fourth frame. Then, in the seventh inning, a Ross double broke the 1-1 tie, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an RBI single.
David Freese tallied two of the Cardinals’ four hits. St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright, now 0-2 in the Series, suffered the loss despite his ten strikeouts over seven innings. Wainwright allowed three runs and eight hits.
Following a travel day on Tuesday, the Red Sox will host game six of the best-of-seven Series at Fenway Park in Boston on Wednesday with John Lackey (10-13) facing the Cards’ postseason rookie phenomenon Michael Wacha. After posting a 4-1 record in his brief regular season stint with St. Louis, Wacha has become the first Major League rookie to ever win four consecutives starts in a single postseason.
The Red Sox have not clinched a World Series title at home since 1918.