St. Louis Cardinals win World Series

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Pujols went 0 for 2, walked and was hit by a pitch in what could have been his last game with the Cardinals. Many think the soon-to-be free agent will remain in St. Louis.

“You know what? I’m not even thinking about that. I’m thinking about, you know, we’re the world champions and I’m going to celebrate and whenever that time comes, you know, then we’ll deal with it,” he said.

Pujols did plenty of damage. His three-homer job in Game 3 was the signature performance of his career and perhaps the greatest hitting show in postseason history.

Dismissed by some as a dull Series even before it began because it lacked the big-market glamour teams, it got better inning by inning. Plus, a postseason first: A bullpen telephone mixup played a prominent role.

“I told you it was going to be a great series, and it was,” Texas slugger Josh Hamilton said.

“I don’t care what other people remember. We fell a little bit short,” he said. “Hats off to the Cards, they did a great job, especially last night. It was actually fun to watch and fun to see. You hate it but it happened.”

Craig hit a solo home run in the third, an opposite field fly to right that carried into the Cardinals bullpen and got their relievers dancing. The super-sub put St. Louis ahead 3-2 with his third homer of the Series. He was in the lineup only because Holliday sprained his right wrist on a pickoff play a night earlier and was replaced on the roster.

By then, the largest crowd at 6-year-old Busch Stadium was buzzing. The fans seemed a bit drained much earlier, maybe worn out from the previous night.

They grew hush in the first when Hamilton and Michael Young hit consecutive RBI doubles. Texas might have gotten more, but Ian Kinsler strayed too far off first base and was trapped by Molina’s rocket throw.

Freese changed the mood in a hurry as St. Louis tied it in the bottom half. Pujols and Lance Berkman drew two-out walks and pitching coach Mike Maddux trotted to the mound while Freese stepped in to a standing ovation.

Freese rewarded his family and a ballpark full of new friends by lining a full-count floater to the wall in left center for a two-run double. Harrison was in trouble, and Wilson began warming up after only 23 pitches.

Carpenter wasn’t sharp at the outset, either. All over the strike zone, he started seven of the first 10 batters with balls. Pitching coach Dave Duncan made a visit in the second to check on the tall righty, lingering for a few extra words.

“I was hoping to have an opportunity to go ahead and pitch in that game and fortunately it worked out,” Carpenter said. “It started off a little rough in the first. But I was able to collect myself, make some pitches and our guys did an awesome job to battle back. And I mean, it’s just amazing.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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