Holland silences Cards' bats, Rangers draw evenOct 24, 2011 - 4:34 AM
Holland, facing a Cardinals club that scored 16 runs the night before, twirled 8 1/3 scoreless innings to carry Texas to a 4-0 victory in Game 4, evening the World Series in front of a raucous Rangers Ballpark crowd.
The left-hander, who had not pitched past the fifth inning in his previous three starts this postseason, allowed just two hits and struck out seven while walking two.
Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the first inning staked the Rangers to an early lead, and Mike Napoli added to it in the sixth by crushing Mitchell Boggs' first pitch deep into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer.
Albert Pujols, fresh off tying World Series records with three home runs and six RBI in Game 3, went hitless in four at-bats, while David Freese saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end.
The series remains in Arlington on Monday when Game 1 starter's C.J. Wilson and Chris Carpenter take the rubber again. Carpenter pitched the Cardinals to a win in the opener.
Edwin Jackson (1-1) labored through his outing and was pulled after walking consecutive hitters with one out in the sixth -- the sixth and seventh free pass the starter allowed.
Napoli then greeted Boggs with a no-doubter to left -- his second home run of the series -- to extend Texas' lead to 4-0.
"I was looking for something up and kind of had an idea they were probably going to try to pound me in, and I just got a pitch up that I could handle," recalled Napoli.
With a little breathing room, Holland (2-0) went back to work with spotless seventh and eighth frames. The 25-year-old threw 107 through the eighth and stayed on the mound trying to complete a rare shutout on baseball's biggest stage.
Nick Punto grounded out to start the ninth before Rafael Furcal took a payoff pitch off the plate. Texas manager Ron Washington had a brief talk with his starter on the mound before motioning to the bullpen and sending Holland off to a deafening standing ovation.
"I've never really got to experience how loud that crowd was today. That's the loudest I've ever heard it, and it made my arm hair stick up. It gave me a crazy tingly feeling," Holland said.
Neftali Feliz gave the crowd a tense moment by walking Allen Craig with the heart of St. Louis' lineup coming to the plate. The closer, though, got Pujols to fly out to center and struck out Matt Holliday to close out the win.
"I thought [Pujols] put a nice stroke on the ball with Feliz. He hits that ball in the gap, we might have some fun," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They worked us over."
St. Louis had scored first in 10 straight games, but Texas jumped in front in its first at-bat. Elvis Andrus singled with one away and crossed home without a throw after Hamilton hit a line drive into the right-field corner.
A pair of walks loaded the bases later in the frame, but David Murphy flew out to the warning track in left to leave the bags full.
Holland worked around a one-out double by Lance Berkman in the second by striking out the red-hot Freese and getting a nice play by Ian Kinsler on Yadier Molina's dribbler up the middle. Kinsler ranged to his right for the backhand, then double-clutched as the slow-moving Molina lumbered down the line. Mitch Moreland, making his first start since Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, scooped the low throw and held on for the final out.
Berkman recorded St. Louis' other hit with a leadoff single in the fifth, but was quickly erased when Freese bounced into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play.
The Rangers have not lost consecutive games since they dropped three straight from August 23rd-25th against Boston...This was the second time in three years that the same two cities in the World Series played each other in the NFL, as the Dallas Cowboys beat the St. Louis Rams earlier Sunday...Holland's outing was the longest World Series start in franchise history...Before the game, Bud Selig awarded future Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr. with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.
- ST. LOUIS: 0
Oct 23 11:15 PM
- Mike Napoli one-out, three-run Home Run (2) to left scored Nelson Cruz and David Murphy. Mitch Moreland due up.
Cardinals 0, Rangers 4 Bot 6, 1 OutOct 23 10:10 PM
- Josh Hamilton double to right scored Elvis Andrus with one out. Runner on second and Michael Young due up.
Cardinals 0, Rangers 1 Bot 1, 1 OutOct 23 8:20 PM
- ST. LOUIS: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Oct 23 8:07 PM
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