Jon Lester was superb once again as the Boston Red Sox took a three-games-to-two lead in the World Series.

Lester pitched into the eighth inning for the second time in the Fall Classic as the Bosox knocked off St. Louis 3-1 in Game 5. The lefty held the Cardinals to a run and four hits while striking out seven over 7 2/3 innings. Lester pitched shutout ball over 7 2/3 innings to help the Red Sox win the series opener.

The Cardinals hung tough with Boston for the first six innings. Matt Holliday tied the game with his second solo homer of the series, a blast to left-center in the fourth. The Bosox regained the lead with a two-run seventh as David Ross doubled home the tiebreaking run before Jacoby Ellsbury added an RBI single.

Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz is Lester's chief competition for series MVP honors so far. Ortiz doubled home Boston's first run of the night and finished 3-for-4 for the second consecutive game. He's hitting .733 with a pair of two-run homers and six RBIs in the series.

Cards starter and loser Adam Wainwright struck out 10 in seven innings but also surrendered three runs and eight hits.

The Red Sox can wrap up their third World Series title in 10 seasons when they host the Redbirds on Wednesday. Boston hasn't clinched a World Series title at home since 1918, when a guy named Babe Ruth pitched the Red Sox to two of their four victories.

John Lackey will take the mound for Boston against Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah), who was the winning pitcher in Game 2.