“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 7 2-3 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, a journeyman catcher.
“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 while retiring 12 in a row.
He tweaked his back late, but said he was all right. In fact, Lester’s biggest brush with major trouble came well before his first pitch.
Lester was getting loose near the warning track when a team of eight Clydesdales pulling a beer wagon came trotting by — it’s a tradition at Busch Stadium and Lester moved aside to watch the horses.
He also took a brief break with two outs in the seventh when the paper airplane appeared. Some fans cheered its flight as it almost glided to the mound. Lester handed it to a ballboy, and retired Molina to end the inning.
“Me, Yadi and the umpire were pretty impressed. That was a nice throw,” Ross said. “We were all talking about that.”
Koji Uehara got four outs for his second save. No crazy endings this time, either, following one night with an obstruction call and the next with Uehara’s game-finishing pickoff.
The Cardinals went quickly in the ninth, and now need two wins in Boston. They overcame a 3-2 deficit at home to beat Texas for the 2011 title.