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Big League Stew

World Series Game 5: Napoli double breaks tie in game, Series

Big League Stew

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Score and situation: The Texas Rangers took one more step toward their first World Series championship with a 4-2 victory in Game 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

Leading lads: Mike Napoli came through from the eighth spot in the order, lining a two-run double to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Chris Carpenter allowed a pair of solo homers — one to Adrian Beltre, the other to Mitch Moreland (not Nelson Cruz) — and not much else over seven innings.

Watch Napoli break the ties

Head hangers: The managers — Tony La Russa of St. Louis and Ron Washington of Texas — made curious decisions all night, most notably ones that involved the intentional walk. A World Series record six IBBs were issued, though both offenses rarely came close to cashing in. La Russa also kept left-hander Marc Rzepczynski in to face Napoli when righty Lance Lynn (or Jason Motte) was available. He also had some strange explanations as to what the problem was with the bullpen.

C.J. Wilson struggled again and was lucky to have allowed one earned run over 5 1/3 innings.

Twice, Allen Craig was caught stealing with Albert Pujols at the plate — including in the ninth down two runs, on a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out. Pujols has gone hitless in the Series, except for his huge Game 3.

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Rzepczynski was unable to field a grounder back to the mound hit by David Murphy, who reached first with a single to load the bases for Napoli with one out in the eighth.

Watch "Scrabble" deflect

Key Stat: Alexi Ogando pitched one inning, allowed two hits and three walks and no runs.

What they'll be talking about: Nick Punto trying to break his bat on his knee, karate-style. Also, the team that has won Game 5 also has won the World Series 66 percent of the time, historically speaking.

What's next: Jaime Garcia tries to keep the Cardinals' season alive as the Series moves back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Wednesday night. Colby Lewis takes the mound for the Rangers.

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