BOSTON -- With the bright lights of the World Series shining down on them for the first time in six years, the Red Sox played with the type of clinical precision that has marked their season.
If this was a bigger stage, it was one the Red Sox clearly relished being on in this 8-1 victory over the Cardinals in Wednesday night's Game 1 at an electric Fenway Park.
Behind a dominant performance by ace Jon Lester and an offense that kicked the door in when the Cardinals gave them extra opportunities, Boston took control of the game early and never let go.
Dating back to 2004, the Red Sox have won their last nine World Series games.
In the last two, Lester has been the winning pitcher. Picking up right where he left off in the Game 4 clincher at Colorado in '07, the power lefty held the Cardinals to five hits over his 7 2/3 shutout innings, walking one and striking out eight.
Lester was the first starter to hold the opponent scoreless in the opening game of the World Series since the Reds' Jose Rijo did so against the A's in 1990.
"He was locating on both sides of the plate," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "His cutter is so tough and when he goes away to righties, and locates the way he does, I mean, he was pretty impressive tonight."
When David Ortiz launched a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the seventh, the rout was on at 7-0. The big slugger, the only Boston player to be on the club's last three World Series teams, had two hits, scored twice and drove in three.