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Albert Pujols hits three home runs as St. Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers in Game 3 of World Series

ARLINGTON, Texas — Albert Pujols joined Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game, tying records with five hits and six RBIs that led the Cardinals to a 16-7 rout of the Rangers on Saturday night that gave St. Louis a 2-1 Series lead.

Pujols also set a World Series record with 14 total bases, surpassing the mark of 12 shared by Ruth and Jackson.

Asked if this was his greatest game, Pujols replied: "I'm glad we just won a game.''

In Game 4 tonight, Derek Holland pitches for the Rangers against former Ray Edwin Jackson. Thirty-six of 54 teams that won Game 3 to take a 2-1 Series lead have gone on to the title, including 10 of the past 11.

A blown call by first-base umpire Ron Kulpa and a throwing error by Rangers first baseman by Mike Napoli led to a four-run fourth that changed the game.

Pujols hit a three-run homer that helped the Cardinals open a 12-6 lead after six innings. He added a two-run shot in the seventh and a solo shot in the ninth.

The fourth and fifth innings dragged on for 1 hour, 22 minutes, and the game lasted 4:04.

Given a 5-0 lead, St. Louis allowed Texas to close to 5-3 in the fourth. St. Louis opened an 8-3 lead in the fifth, but the Rangers closed to 8-6 in the bottom of the inning and had the bases loaded when Ian Kinsler hit an inning-ending popup.

Pujols followed in the sixth with a 423-foot drive off Alexi Ogando that clanked off the facing above the restaurant windows in leftfield, and Yadier Molina added a sacrifice fly.

Texas made three errors that led to three unearned runs.

Allen Craig, who had run-scoring pinch-hit singles in the first two games, homered on Matt Harrison's seventh pitch.

Pujols singled leading off the fourth and Matt Holliday hit a hard grounder to Elvis Andrus for what should have been a bases-clearing double play. The shortstop tossed to second, but Kinsler's throw was off line, pulling Napoli off first base.

Playing first base for the first time in the Series, Napoli caught the throw and his glove came down hard on Holliday's left shoulder, with the runner a step short of the bag, But Kulpa called him safe, despite an argument from Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Kulpa is a St. Louis native and lifelong Cardinals fan.

Lance Berkman singled, and David Freese's double down the rightfield line gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Molina was intentionally walked and Jon Jay hit a bouncer to Napoli, who had plenty of time to throw home for a forceout. But his throw went past lunging catcher Yorvit Torrealba as two runs scored. Ryan Theriot singled for a 5-0 lead.

Neither starter got out of the fourth. Lohse, 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA in nine postseason appearances, allowed hits to his first four batters in the fourth and was removed. Harrison gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in 3⅔ innings.

Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton went 1-for-4 and dropped to 1-for-11 in the Series, although he stopped an 0-for-18 Series skid dating to last year with a fifth-inning single.

Albert Pujols hits three home runs as St. Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers in Game 3 of World Series 10/23/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 12:42am]
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