No controversy, no ill-timed mistakes. Game 5 brought the World Series back to pure baseball. The Boston Red Sox’s 3-1 win belonged to Jon Lester, who emphatically answered those conspiracy theorists questioning the validity of his Game 1 performance by focusing on a substance seen inside his glove. His glove was clean on Monday, and his pitching line was nearly spotless as well: seven and two-thirds innings, four hits, one run, seven strikeouts to send the Red Sox back home to Fenway Park with a 3-2 Series lead.
David Ross, Lester’s personal catcher, delivered the go-ahead R.B.I. single in the seventh, after David Ortiz, who finished 3 for 4; put Boston on the board with a run-scoring double in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury added an R.B.I. as well. The Cardinals could manage only Matt Holliday’s home run, and saw their ace, Adam Wainwright, lose for the second time in the Series. The Red Sox cruise back to Fenway Park with back-to-back wins and a chance to clinch the Series at home for the first time since 1918. Game 6 is being played on Wednesday at 5:00 pm PST.