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St. Louis Cardinals Beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 to Win World Series

Cardinals Win World Series
Jamie Squire, Getty Images

Allen Craig hit a solo home run to provide the go-ahead run, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7 to win the 2011 World Series four games to three in St. Louis on Friday night.

Third baseman David Freese, who was named the World Series MVP, had a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning that tied the score at 2-2. The two runs-batted-in gave Freese a postseason record of 21. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, pitching on three days’ rest, went six innings, striking out five and walking two, while yielding six hits and allowing only two runs, both in the first inning.

Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a half-inning off back-to-back, run-scoring doubles by Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. Rangers’ starter Matt Harrison gave up Freese’s double in the bottom of the first inning before allowing Craig’s home run in the third. The Cardinals tacked on insurance runs in the fifth, when relief pitcher Scott Feldman issued a bases-loaded walk to catcher Yadier Molina, and then C.J. Wilson hit shortstop Rafael Furcal with a pitch.

St. Louis plated another run in the seventh, when Molina singled to drive in Lance Berkman. Relief pitcher Lance Lynn retired Texas in order in the eighth, and closer Jason Motte pitched a perfect ninth ining, getting David Murphy to fly out to end the game, and the series.

The World Series victory was the 11th for the Cardinals’ franchise, second in Major League Baseball history only to the New York Yankees’ 27 titles. Manager Tony La Russa led his third world championship team in addition to Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006.

The Cardinals clinched the series a night after winning one of the most exciting games in recent baseball history, Thursday’s Game 6, when Freese’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning extended the series to its seventh, and deciding, game. The St. Louis win marked the ninth straight time the home team has won a Game 7 of the World Series.

A wild card entry, the Cardinals made their postseason run after being 10 1/2 games out of the playoffs in August before advancing on the final day of the regular season. St. Louis withstood two elimination games against Philadelphia in the Divisional Series, before beating Milwaukee in the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series.

Texas, which advanced to the World Series for the second year in a row, remained without a title in its 51-year history.

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