ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) - The Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Monday to move within one win of claiming their first World Series title since the franchise was born in 1961.
The victory gave Texas a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
A two-run double by Mike Napoli in the bottom of the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 tie to lift the Rangers over a Cardinals team that squandered a multitude of chances, leaving 12 men on base while hitting 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals, who left the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings and stranded men on second and third in the sixth, threatened one last time in the ninth.
Texas closer Neftali Feliz hit Allen Craig with a pitch leading off the last frame bringing the dangerous Albert Pujols up as the tying run.
With the count full, Pujols swung and missed a pitch well outside the strike zone and catcher Napoli gunned a throw to second base for a strike out-throw out double play.
The inning was kept alive when Feliz walked Matt Holliday but Lance Berkman struck out to end it.
Reliever Darren Oliver was credited with the win and Feliz registered a save, while Octavio Dotel took the loss.
The Cardinals scored their runs in the second inning, taking advantage of loose pitching and loose fielding. The Rangers used the long ball to come back with Mitch Moreland hitting a home run in the third and Adrian Beltre powering a solo blast off St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter in the sixth.
Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Patrick Johnston