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        === Lester puts controversy to rest with Game 5 masterpiece ===
 
 By Kevin Downs, Contributing MLB Writer
 
 (SportsNetwork.com)  - Jon  Lester went  through the  gamut following  Game 1,
 first  reveling in  a scoreless World Series performance then having to answer
 questions about a strange substance found in his glove.
 
 Red  Sox manager  John Farrell attributed the unidentified green ink blot to a
 rosin  bag  his  ace keeps  in  his  glove,  and  Lester equally  refuted  any
 accusations of doctoring the ball.
 
 Any talk of Lester's glove ended Monday with his left arm.
 
 Squaring  off against  Adam Wainwright for the second time this series, Lester
 limited  the St. Louis  Cardinals to one run over 7 2/3 innings as the Red Sox
 moved within one win of a World Series title with a 3-1 victory in Game 5.
 
 The  left-hander sent  the Red Sox back  to Boston with a 3-2 lead by allowing
 only  four hits  and  striking out  seven  to join  Curt  Schilling and  Pedro
 Martinez as the only Boston pitchers with six career postseason wins.
 
 "I  expect a lot of high things from myself, as do my teammates," Lester said.
 "You  don't want  to let those guys down.  And we're all trying to pull on the
 same  rope and get  to one common goal. And that's what makes this team pretty
 special."
 
 David  Ortiz is the  likely favorite to win the MVP award if Boston takes home
 the championship, since the slugger is hitting an otherworldly .733 (11-of-15)
 with two home runs and six RBI through the first five games.
 
 But  Lester's  numbers can't be overlooked.  He's pitched into the eighth both
 times out, given up just one run on nine hits, walked one and fanned 15 -- all
 while battling tightness in his back.
 
 "That  started to  gradually come  on a  little bit  more. You  could see  his
 reaction  after  he'd throw a pitch,"  Farrell said of the back injury. "There
 was a little bit of gathering after each pitch."
 
 That  explains  why Farrell pulled Lester  after the 29-year-old threw only 91
 pitches -- 61 of which went for strikes. He retired 13 of the final 14 hitters
 he faced after yielding a Matt Holliday homer in the fourth inning.
 
 He  completely controlled  a St.  Louis lineup  that led  the NL  in runs  and
 improved  to 3-0 with  a 0.43 ERA over 21 innings in three career World Series
 outings.
 
 If  the Red  Sox  wrap up  the  series Wednesday  in Game  6,  or Thursday  if
 necessary,  they  certainly have Ortiz to  thank, but Lester has made a strong
 case for being on the trophy stand with him, controversy or not.
 
 
 10/29 00:52:13 ET