Three-homer game puts Albert Pujols in elite club
By BEN WALKER Associated Press October 23, 2011 1:02AM
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols watches his three-run home run in front of Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba during the sixth inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Updated: October 23, 2011 1:13AM
ARLINGTON, Texas — Albert Pujols simply let his bat make all the noise. And boy, it was pretty loud.
Pujols hit three impressive home runs to tie the World Series record, amassing five hits and six RBIs Saturday night as the St. Louis Cardinals romped past the Texas Rangers 16-7 for a 2-1 edge.
The outburst by the three-time NL MVP came a day after he was barbed by the media for not sticking around to talk about a Game 2 error and loss. This time, everyone was talking about him.
Pujols, who was 0-for-6 in the first two games, became the third player to hit three homers in a Series game. He joined Babe Ruth, who did it in 1926 and again in 1928, and Reggie Jackson’s performance in 1977.
His six RBIs tied the record in a game, matching Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Hideki Matsui in 2009.
Oh, Pujols also matched the Series mark for hits in a game set by Paul Molitor in 1982. Just think, too — Pujols’ monster night came after he grounded out in the first inning.
“It’s an honor to be named in the same category as those guys,” Pujols said.
The Cardinals mashed their way to the highest-scoring game in their storied postseason history.
After two taut games in St. Louis, this suddenly turned into a messy slugfest. Pujols, the most feared slugger in the majors, was right in the middle — he became the first player in Series history to get hits in four consecutive innings.
Texan fans booed after first base umpire Ron Kulpa’s blown call helped the Cardinals score four times in the fourth for a 5-0 lead. The crowd at Rangers Ballpark went silent when Pujols started swinging for the fences, and beyond. His three-run shot in the sixth rattled the windows of the club level in left field.
Game 4 is Sunday night, with Derek Holland starting for the Rangers against Edwin Jackson. It will be the back half of a St. Louis-Texas style doubleheader — earlier in the day, the Rams play the Dallas Cowboys right across the parking lot.
This game had an NFL score, too, for much of the evening. The teams combined for 23 runs and 28 hits — at Busch Stadium, they teamed for eight runs and 23 hits in two games.
“You leave a ball up in this park it’s going to carry a little more than it does in St. Louis,” Pujols said.
Good-luck charm Allen Craig homered for St. Louis and Yadier Molina drove in four runs. The Cardinals broke it open by scoring four times in the fourth, three more in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Adrian Beltre kept mashing for the Texas, getting four hits and driving in four runs.