- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mike Napoli just ripped a two-run homer to right field, tying the score at 2 in the fifth inning.

You don’t see many opposite-field homers that sail that far over the fence. It was a no-doubter right off the bat. Napoli knew it was gone, and so did Rangers manager Ron Washington. Cardinals right fielder Lance Berkman hardly moved.

Impressive power.

Must be something about that No. 7 spot in the Texas lineup. That’s where Nelson Cruz was during the ALCS against Detroit. He moved up a spot in the World Series opener, with Napoli dropped to seventh.


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The Cardinals broke through first, in the fourth inning.

Albert Pujols was hit on the foot by a pitch from C.J. Wilson and Matt Holliday doubled into the right-field corner. Berkman also went the other way, bouncing a two-run single over first base for a 2-0 lead.

It was an unusual swing. Odd to see a right-handed hitter bounce a chopper down the first base line.

Berkman tagged up and went to second on a deep flyout by David Freese. Wilson avoided further damage, though. He’s throwing the ball pretty well _ much better than his previous postseason starts this year.

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The Cardinals got a leadoff single in the third from Nick Punto. Chris Carpenter tried to bunt him over but fouled off strike three and St. Louis failed to score.

Carpenter and Wilson appeared to be settling in. Both pitchers were finding their rhythm and getting groundballs. The cool weather could be helping, too. Game-time temperature was 49 degrees and it’s windy. Doesn’t look like a fun night for hitters. Infielders are being careful with their throws, too.

Quite a contrast for the Rangers. They played 27 home games this season when the temperature was 100 degrees or more at first pitch. But in the World Series opener, even Washington was wearing gloves, and shortstop Elvis Andrus had a ski hat under his cap to keep warm.

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Carpenter is fired up, yelling at himself on the mound after missing with a pitch. He got pumped up again after getting Napoli to ground into a double play to end the top of the second.

Story Continues →