0

PREVIEW: Red Sox one win away from World Series title

Boston’s David Ortiz has been on fire in the World Series, hitting .733 with an on-base percentage of 1.267 in five games against the Cardinals. (Reuters)

Boston’s David Ortiz has been on fire in the World Series, hitting .733 with an on-base percentage of 1.267 in five games against the Cardinals. (Reuters)

BOSTON — It’s dull, boring and the cliche of all sports cliches, to be sure, but the Red Sox are succeeding this season by taking it one game at a time.

Manager John Farrell believes the same approach will serve his team well now that it on the doorstep of becoming the first team in this century to win three World Series.

Behind 7 1/3 strong innings from Jon Lester and three more hits by the red-hot David Ortiz, who is batting .733 in the series, the Red Sox downed the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Monday night in Game 5 at Busch Stadium.

The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. They can close things out at home tonight in Game 6 at Fenway Park.

“The one thing we won’t do is get too far ahead of ourselves, whether that’s what we achieve collectively or what any individual’s performance suggests,” Farrell said. “The fact is we’re going home, going back to a place that our guys love to play in, in front of our fans.

“This atmosphere (in St. Louis), these three games have been phenomenal. 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.”

If the Red Sox do capture the championship, they would do so in front of the home fans for the first time since 1918. Boston clinched its 2004 World Series win at Busch Stadium, then captured the 2007 World Series at Coors Field in Denver. Both of those series ended in sweeps.

John Lackey will start for the Red Sox in Game 6 against rookie phenom Michael Wacha.

Those two also met in Game 2 at Fenway Park, with the Cardinals winning 4-2. Wacha gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, while Lackey allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Lackey also pitched one scoreless inning of relief in the Red Sox’s win in Game 4. He is 2-1 in this postseason with a 3.26 ERA in four games, including three starts, and he has a 5-5 lifetime record in the postseason with a 3.14 ERA in 18 games, including 15 starts.

In the regular season, Lackey went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts.

Wacha is 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts in the postseason after going 4-1 with a 2.78 in 15 regular-season games, including nine starts.