Rangers 4, Cardinals 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 25, 2011
Tony La Russa lifted his hat right off his head, in amazement and frustration. This wasn't what he meant before the game when he said he would tip his cap to the Texas Rangers if they proved to be the better team. David Murphy's comebacker deflected off the knee of reliever Marc Rzepczynski and bounded toward second base, turning a potential inning-ending double play into an infield single that led to Mike Napoli's tiebreaking, two-run double. In the Cardinals' dugout, La Russa picked up his blue cap and arched his eyebrows in disbelief. But long before that, St. Louis had plenty of chances to take control. The Cardinals could have blown open Game 5 early against C.J. Wilson, but instead find themselves heading home in a 3-2 World Series deficit following Monday night's 4-2 loss. ''If they beat us, I'm going to tip my cap,'' La Russa said before the game. ''We did the best we could.'' Maybe not, at least in the batter's box. Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker drove in second-inning runs against C.J. Wilson as St. Louis built a 2-0 lead for Chris Carpenter. But the Cardinals finished 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 overall, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh. Wilson stranded a runner at third in the third when Matt Holliday grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the lefty got Holliday to ground out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. St. Louis left runners at second and third when Scott Feldman struck out Nick Punto to end the sixth. In the seventh, Albert Pujols was intentionally walked for the third time in the game - this time with no one on. After a single by Holliday and an intentional walk to Lance Berkman, David Freese flied out on the next pitch. Then, after Allen Craig was hit by Neftali Feliz's pitch leading off the ninth, Pujols struck out and Craig was caught stealing second by Napoli. Other than his 5-for-6, three-homer, six-RBI performance in Game 3, Pujols is 0 for 12 in the Series. Carpenter gave up solo homers to Mitch Moreland in the third and Adrian Beltre in the sixth, starting the Texas comeback. After beating Wilson in last week's opener, Carpenter allowed six hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked two. It was 2-all when Texas put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth on Michael Young's leadoff double against loser Octavio Dotel and a one-out intentional walk to Nelson Cruz. Murphy followed with a bouncer back to the mound, and the ball appeared to glance off Rzepczynski's knee and trickled away for a single that loaded the bases for Napoli, who drove the ball to the gap in right-center. When the Series resumes Wednesday in St. Louis, Jaime Garcia starts for the Cardinals and Colby Lewis for the Rangers. The forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of rain. Holliday and Berkman walked starting the second, and Freese flied to short right field, with the runners holding. Molina singled into left field to put the Cardinals ahead, and Berkman advanced to third when Murphy bobbled the ball for an error. Schumaker, starting because Jon Jay was 0 for 14 in the Series, then grounded sharply to Moreland, who bobbled the ball at first and lost a chance for an inning-ending double play. Moreland recovered and stepped on the bag for the second out as Berkman scored. Punto then sliced a liner into left field, and Murphy made a fine, diving backhand catch. Already at first base, Punto kneeled and softly whacked his right thigh with the bat, as if to break it in frustration. Rafael Furcal bunted to start the third and Wilson slipped coming off the mound, then bounced a backhand flip past Moreland as Furcal took second on what was ruled a hit and the Rangers' sixth error of the Series. Craig sacrificed, Pujols was intentionally walked and Berkman grounded into a double play. Wilson led the majors by inducing 31 GIDPs. NOTES: Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach bounced the ceremonial first pitch. ... Furcal, who turned 34 on Monday, led off the game with a liner to Beltre at third, just as he did in Game 4. This was an easier play, with the third baseman not having to leap. Furcal turned and slashed his bat through the air in frustration.
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