There was nothing weird about Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night. No embarrassing pickoff to end the game. No walk-off obstruction call. Not a single defensive letdown.

This was just pitching-dominated hardball and Boston's ace out-performed the Cardinals' ace. Red Sox 3, Cardinals 1.

As he was in Game 1, Boston lefty Jon Lester was just too good for St. Louis. Dotting both sides of the plate with his cut fastball, he limited the Cardinals to a Matt Holliday home run and three other hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Lester did not face more than four batters in any inning, did not walk anyone and did not allow a Cardinal to reach third base besides the homer to Holliday.

"It's tough to swallow but you have to tip your cap to him," said Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter, who went 0 for 4. "Both starts against Jon, we haven't been able to figure it out. Part of that is him pitching really well. Part of that is just us not making an adjustment."

With the Series shifting back to Boston Wednesday night, the Cardinals will have to overcome some serious history to win their 12th World Series championship. Like this serious: Home teams have gone 22-4 in Games 6 and 7 over the past 33 World Series. You might remember two of those wins from 2011.

If young Michael Wacha comes through again on Wednesday night, the odds don't get any better for the Cardinals. Home teams have won nine straight Game 7s, dating to 1979.

"This will be legendary. We go into Boston and win two games," said Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who pitched much better than he did in Game 1 but still ended up with his second loss in the Series. "It starts with Game 6."

Game 5 started better than Game 1 for Wainwright but he still allowed the Red Sox to take a 1-0 lead when he hung a curve that Dustin Pedroia doubled to left and then gave up a first-pitch double to David Ortiz.

Wainwright said the cutter to Ortiz was inside as he intended, but the Red Sox slugger still drilled it just inside the first-base line. Wainwright said he didn't consider walking Ortiz because it was the first inning but he would not have been faulted for pitching around him.

With another three-hit night, Ortiz is enjoying a World Series for the ages. He is 11 for 15 with four walks through the first five games and one of the outs came when Carlos Beltran robbed him of a grand slam.

When Wainwright ended Ortiz's streak of reaching base nine consecutive times, the tall right-hander looked to the heavens, like finally.

After the first, Wainwright matched Lester through six innings and, thanks to Holliday's homer in the fourth, the Cardinals entered the seventh tied 1-1.

But the bottom of Boston's order triggered the winning rally off Wainwright, with catcher David Ross providing the go-ahead RBI with a one-out double that landed just inside the left-field line. Wainwright said Ross was able to go down and hit a good curveball, the first one he had thrown him in the game. On the previous pitch, Ross hit a popup that landed just on the other side of the backstop behind home.