- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2011

Mike Napoli’s two-run double off Marc Rzepczynski gave Texas a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning.

Curious decision by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to let Rzepczynski face Napoli, who eats up left-handed pitching. Lance Lynn was warming in the bullpen with Napoli at the plate _ not sure if he was ready yet.

Later in the inning, La Russa brought in Lynn just to issue an intentional walk. Once closer Jason Motte was warm, Lynn was lifted and Motte came in to strike out Elvis Andrus with the bases loaded, ending the inning.

Neftali Feliz came on in the ninth to try to close it out and put Texas within one win of its first World Series championship.


Napoli has nine RBIs in the series.

Michael Young started the rally with a leadoff double against Octavio Dotel. With two on and one out, Rzepczynski entered to face David Murphy. Rangers manager Ron Washington stayed with Murphy, a left-handed hitter, and he hit a comebacker that deflected off Rzepczynski toward second base for an infield single.

That loaded the bases for Napoli.

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Chris Carpenter appeared to be in complete control. Featuring that big curveball of his, he retired Josh Hamilton on an easy grounder and then struck out Michael Young to start the sixth.

But then Adrian Beltre tracked one of those curves and homered to left field, dropping down on his back knee as he finished a huge swing, a la Reggie Jackson.

Earlier in the game, Beltre swung and missed the same way at one of Carpenter’s curves. He takes a swing like that every so often. Fox showed footage of him hitting a home run out of Fenway Park when he was with Boston last year on a big cut that dropped him to his right knee.

With runners at the corners, Napoli flied out to deep right-center to end the inning. Fox cameras caught a fired-up Carpenter shouting curses in the direction of first base, perhaps intended for Napoli.

Score is tied at 2 after seven innings.

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St. Louis is 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and has stranded 11 overall.

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