ST. LOUIS — Jon Lester pitched the Boston Red Sox within a whisker of yet another World Series championship.
Now, this bearded band goes back to Fenway Park just one win away.
“Pretty special time,” Lester said.
Lester bested Adam Wainwright once again, journeyman David Ross hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and the Red Sox downed the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Monday night to take a 3-2 Series edge.
David Ortiz delivered his latest big hit, too, putting Boston in position to capture its third crown in a decade. Not since 1918 have the Red Sox clinched the title on their own field.
“This atmosphere here, these three games, has been phenomenal. We know it’s going to be equal to that, if not better. And we’re excited about going home in the position we are,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Added Ortiz of Boston’s century-old bandbox: “It’s going to get loud out there.”
John Lackey gets the first chance to win it Wednesday night against St. Louis rookie sensation Michael Wacha. A Cardinals victory would set up a most spooky proposition for both teams — Game 7 on Halloween night.
“It will be legendary if we go into Boston and win two games,” Wainwright said.
Ortiz enjoyed even more success in Game 5 after moving up from cleanup to the third slot. He is 11 for 15 (.733) in this Series with two homers, six RBIs and four walks.
“I was born for this,” Ortiz said, grinning.
The slugger left in a double switch, shortly after legging out a hit in the eighth. He was OK, and he’d already done enough damage to the Cardinals.
“What planet’s that guy from?” Ross said.
Lester enhanced his reputation as an October ace with every pitch. He allowed one run and four hits in 7 2-3 innings, striking out seven without a walk. Nearly the same line he had in beating Wainwright in the opener.
“I think the biggest thing is me and Rossy have had a good rhythm,” Lester said. “Early on, we just went back to our game plan from Game 1 and just fell back on that and really just tried to make them swing the bats early, and we were able to do that.”
The lefty who’s won all three of his career World Series starts had just one scary inning, when Matt Holliday homered in the fourth.