Red Sox pitchers Clay Buchholz, left, and John Lackey stand together during a workout at Fenway Park Lackey is scheduled to start Game 6 of the World Series against the Cardinals on Wednesday in Boston. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
St. Louis — David Ross caught Jon Lester’s pitches into the eighth inning, then talked about the toss that really impressed him in Game 5 of the World Series.
A paper airplane flung by a fan that floated so far, Lester stepped off the mound to retrieve it.
“We were all kind of in awe,” Ross said.
The Red Sox sure sounded that way after Lester outpitched Adam Wainwright once more, Ross delivered a go-ahead double in the seventh inning as Boston beat St. Louis, 3-1, on Monday night for a 3-2 World Series edge.
A whisker away from yet another title, this bearded band now goes back to Fenway Park for Game 6 tonight.
A Cardinals victory would set up a spooky proposition — Game 7 is scheduled for Thursday, Halloween night.
“(It’s a) pretty special time,” Lester said.
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 field.
“This atmosphere here, these three games, has been phenomenal,” Red Sox manager John Farrell “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.”
Added Ortiz of Boston’s century-old bandbox: “It’s going to get loud out there.”
John Lackey gets the first chance to win Wednesday for Boston against St. Louis rookie sensation Michael Wacha.
“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 the World Series with two home runs, 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, plus 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 72⁄3 innings, striking out seven without a walk. Nearly the same line he had in beating Wainwright in the opener.
Lester won again while working with Ross.
“I think the biggest thing is me and Rossy have had a good rhythm,” Lester said.
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, Carlos Beltran flied out to the wall and Yadier Molina hit a liner. Other than that, Lester was sharp as a knife, retiring 12 in a row.
He tweaked his back late, but said he was all right.
In fact, Lester’s biggest brush with trouble came before his first pitch. He was getting loose near the warning track when he had to move aside for a team of Clydesdales pulling a beer wagon.
Around the horn
The Red Sox have struck out 14 times, raising their total to a postseason-record 156. Boston began the day tied with San Francisco, the 2010 champion.