Albert Pujols hit three home runs and drove in six to power the St. Louis Cardinals to a 16-7 win over the Texas Rangers and a two-games-to-one lead in the World Series.
Pujols’s home runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings tied the records set by New York Yankee Babe Ruth in the fourth games of the 1926 and 1928 series and Yankee Reggie Jackson in Game 6 of the 1977 series.
“It’s an honor to be named in the same caliber as those guys,” Pujols, who was hitless in the series until last night, said in a televised interview. “I didn’t walk into this ballpark thinking I would have a day like this.”
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is tonight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
Allen Craig hit a solo home run in the first inning to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. The Cardinals then scored four runs in the fourth to make it 5-0. Michael Young and Nelson Cruz hit home runs in their half of the fourth for the Rangers’ first three runs.
Pujols scored on David Freese’s ground out followed by Yadier Molina’s two-run double in the fifth. The Rangers narrowed the gap to two runs, 8-6, on Young’s one-run double, Adrian Beltre’s run-scoring single and Mike Napoli’s sacrifice fly that sent Young home.
In the sixth, Pujols hit a three-run homer and Matt Holliday scored on Molina’s sacrifice fly. Pujols added a two-run home run in the seventh to widen the Cardinals’ lead to eight runs before Beltre scored on Napoli’s sacrifice fly for the Rangers.
Molina hit his second double of the night in the eighth inning to send home Daniel Descalso. Pujols ended the scoring in the ninth with his third homer.
Pujols’s sixth-inning home run off Alexi Ogando went 431 feet.
“It was pretty incredible, especially since it was a high fastball,” Holliday said. “I’ve seen Albert do a lot of amazing things. This is obviously one at the top of the list.”
Pujols said his team needed that homer after the Rangers had rallied with a three-hit inning.
“It doesn’t matter how far they go,” Pujols said. “We just needed a run at that time.”
Lance Lynn allowed one run on three hits and struck out two in 2 1/3 innings in getting the win for the Cardinals. Starter Matt Harrison, the loser, gave up five runs on six hits and struck out three in 3 2/3 innings for the Rangers, who used six pitchers.