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Holland’s curveball has been particularly effective. He got a double-play ball in the fifth and fanned Allen Craig for the second time to end the sixth.

Somehow, St. Louis starter Edwin Jackson left trailing only 1-0 despite six walks in 5 1-3 innings. The run came on Josh Hamilton’s RBI double in the first.

But the score changed quickly. Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer on the first pitch from Mitchell Boggs to make it 4-0 Rangers in the sixth.

That call to the bullpen backfired on Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who has made splendid moves throughout the postseason. Jackson looked finished after 109 pitches, but Boggs couldn’t get the job done.

Sooner or later, those Texas bats were bound to break out.

Napoli is the first catcher with two home runs in a World Series since Mike Piazza in 2000.

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Holland works a 1-2-3 fourth. Pujols fouled out to first, making him 0 for 2 on the night, and mouthed “wow” as he walked back to the dugout. He may have thought he missed a good pitch to hit.

Holland probably caught a bit of a break earlier in the inning. He fell behind 3-1 on Craig, who reached for a pitch that appeared a touch outside and grounded out to first. Could have cost himself a leadoff walk.

Nelson Cruz flies out to the center field fence in the bottom of the inning, with Jon Jay making a nice catch. Jackson pointed out to Jay in appreciation.

Holland has thrown five shutout innings, and the Rangers still lead 1-0.

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With a runner on second, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler made a nice play up the middle to end the second inning. Kinsler, who has been shaky on defense during the Series, threw out Yadier Molina, who didn’t get down the line very well.

Molina picked off Kinsler at first base to end the bottom of the inning.

Holland has faced one more than the minimum through three innings, allowing only a second-inning double to Berkman. Holland appears to be getting pitches just off the inside corner from plate umpire Ron Kulpa, who acknowledged that he missed a key call in Game 3 at first base.

Story Continues →