ST. LOUIS -- Despite his feeble production at the plate, shortstop Stephen Drew's defense has been too stellar for manager John Farrell to take out of the Red Sox lineup.
And that patience displayed by Farrell and Drew paid off Monday night as the Red Sox moved one win from their third World Series title in 10 seasons as they beat the Cardinals 3-1 at Busch Stadium.
Drew, who is 4-for-50 with 19 strikeouts in the postseason, worked Adam Wainwright for a walk in the seventh inning. Cody Ross followed with a ground-rule double to score Xander Bogaerts and snap a 1-1 tie, and Jacoby Ellsbury added an insurance run with a two-out single to score Drew.
The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and can win their first World Series title since 2007 with a win Wednesday or Thursday at Fenway Park.
Jon Lester and David Ortiz continued their dominance. Lester pitched 7 2/3 innings of four-hit ball and retired 12 consecutive batters after Matt Holliday hit a game-tying home run in the fourth that landed on the grassy knoll behind the center-field fence.
Lester has pitched 151/3 innings of nine-hit ball in the series. Holliday's homer snapped his streak of 161/3 scoreless innings in World Series play.
Only Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants had a longer scoreless streak (28 innings) to start his World Series career.
Meanwhile, Ortiz continued to make the Cardinals pay every time they elected to pitch to him. He drove in the first run with a double in the first and went 3-for-4. Ortiz had reached base nine consecutive times in the series before lining out to center in the sixth.
Ortiz is 11-for-15 in this series and 20-for-43 (.465) during his career in the World Series.
The Red Sox's seventh-inning rally spoiled an exceptional effort by Wainwright, who recorded his first six outs on strikeouts and finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
However, Wainwright's inability to retire Drew after getting ahead on a 1-2 count cost him.
Before the game, both teams adjusted their lineups in efforts to invigorate their stagnant offenses.
The Red Sox moved up Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz one spot to second and third, respectively. The change paid off in the first, thanks to a curious decision by the Cardinals.
With one out, Pedroia doubled and the Cardinals elected to pitch to Ortiz with first base open. Ortiz pulled a double down the right-field line to score Pedroia.
The Red Sox's six strikeouts in the first two innings gave them a record for strikeouts in a postseason, surpassing the Giants' 142 in 2010.
The Cardinals altered their lineup by inserting Shane Robinson in the second spot and dropping Carlos Beltran from second to cleanup.
Less than two hours before the game, Allen Craig was inserted at first base for the first time since injuring his left ankle Sept. 4. Craig fielded some grounders at first about four hours before the game and felt healthy enough to start.
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