Jon Lester virtually duplicated his Game 1 performance (7.2 IP, 5 hits and 8 strikeouts) in Game 5 of the World Series (7.2 IP, 4 H and 7 Ks) and outdueled Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright for a second time to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 victory last night in St.Louis.
Essentially a lock for series MVP at this point, David Ortiz continued his torrid pace going for Boston with a 3 for 4 performance at the plate with an RBI double. Big Papi is now 11 for 15 (.733 avg) so far in the Series to go along with two homers, six RBIs and four walks. Ortiz says his success at the plate is a result of his comfort in the box.
“I try not to put pressure on myself, not try to do too much,” Ortiz said. “I’m just trying to stay with my game and give a good swing whenever I see a pitch that I’m able to hit.”
Among players with at least 40 World Series at-bats, Big Papi has the highest OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) in big league history with a 1.370 clip. That mark is ahead of Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson.
The go-ahead run was knocked in by former University of Florida catcher David Ross, who drove a double down the left field line to score rookie Xander Bogaerts in the top of the seventh inning. Ross says it felt great to deliver in such an important spot.
“[The pitch] kind of came front door and luckily I was able to put the barrel on it and just squeeze it inside that line,” Ross said. “I was really happy about that.”
The only other time the Red Sox got a late inning go-ahead RBI from their catcher in a World Series game? In 1975, when Carlton Fisk willed his 12th inning home run fair in Game 6 against the Reds.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled two batters later to drive in Stephen Drew to push the lead to 3-1, but that wasn’t even needed as closer Koji Uehara continued his dominance. He came in for a four out save, sending the Cardinal hitters down in order. The series now shifts back to Beantown, where the Sox will look to close out a championship in their home ballpark for the first time since 1918. You can tune in to the Game 6 action from Fenway on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 8 on Wednesday.