St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Lester put his name among other Red Sox legends with a sublime Game 5 performance that has Boston one win away from its third World Series title since 2004.
Lester retired 12 straight at one point Monday and Boston scored twice in the seventh to take a pivotal 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
It was the fourth consecutive game decided by two runs or less in this roller- coaster Fall Classic that has seen the Red Sox take the last two on the road for a 3-2 series lead.
Lester (2-0) allowed only four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven over 7 2/3 innings to join Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez as the only Boston pitchers with six career postseason wins.
David Ross broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI double in the seventh, the sixth time this postseason the Red Sox have pushed across the go-ahead run in the sixth inning or later of a victory.
David Ortiz had another productive night for Boston, going 3-for-4 with an RBI to boost his average in the series to an otherworldly .733 (11-of-15). He matched Billy Hatcher's World Series record by reaching base in nine straight plate appearances before lining out in the sixth.
Ortiz doubled in a run in the first inning against Adam Wainwright (0-2), who settled in after another slow start but faltered late to suffer his second loss of the series.
Like the loss in Game 1, the only run St. Louis mustered Monday came on a Matt Holliday homer.
The series shifts back to Boston for Game 6 on Wednesday, with Michael Wacha squaring off against John Lackey in a rematch of Game 3 won by the Cardinals rookie.