Monday, October 24, 2011

Texas Ties World Series at 2-2 as Mike Napoli, Derek Holland Deliver

Players of the Day for Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rangers 4 Cardinals 0

Mike Napoli crushed a 6th-inning, three run homer in support of Derek Holland's two-hit pitching as the Texas Rangers evened the 2011 World Series with a game four, 4-0, victory.

Napoli: 3-run HR
Napoli's blast came with the Rangers nursing a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Josh Hamilton doubling home Elvis Andrus in the game's first inning. Cardinal starter Edwin Jackson was matching Golland nearly pitch-for-pitch, until getting into serious trouble in the bottom of the sixth, walking Nelson Cruz and David Murphy with one out in the inning. Jackson was lifted in favor of reliever Mitchell Boggs, who served up the long ball to Napoli.

Holland: 2 hits,
0 ER, 8 1/3 IP
With the lead in hand, Holland persevered, allowing only a single and double by Lance Berkman through the first five innings and setting the Cardinals down without a hit until he was relieved after walking Rafael Furcal with one out in the ninth. Neftali Feliz walked the next batter, Allen Criag, but got Albert Pujols to fly out and ended the game with a strikeout of Matt Holliday.

Holland walked two batters and struck out seven for his second playoff win of the season. His strong outing was a vast improvement over his previous two starts - both against Detroit in the ALCS - in which he lasted only 2 2/3rds allowing three runs and 4 2/3rds, giving up four runs on seven hits, though the Rangers managed to win both games without Holland getting a decision.

A crucial game five is slated for Monday night at 8:05 pm in Arlington, the last of the three home games for the Rangers before the series shifts back to St. Louis for game six on Wednesday, and, if necessary, game seven on Thursday.

Game one winner Chris Carpenter will head to the mound for St. Louis. C.J. Wilson, who took the loss in game one, walking six and allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, goes up the bump for the Rangers.

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