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World Series Game 3: Pujols rules with record three homers, five hits

Score and situation: Behind the best individual performance in World Series history*, by Albert Pujols(notes), the St. Louis Cardinals crushed the Texas Rangers 16-7 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Both teams had combined for eight runs in the first two games.

Update: On Twitter, @EricPaulWright dropped the name Don Larsen, who of course pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in 1956, as being someone who had a better World Series game than Pujols. I admit to thinking only of offensive performances. I won't do a re-write, but he obviously makes a great challenge.

Leading lads: Pujols gave 'em something to talk about, all right, hitting three home runs to tie Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson for a World Series record. Ruth did it twice, in 1926 and 1928, Jackson did it in 1977. By going 5 for 6, Pujols tied Paul Molitor's 1982 record for hits in a World Series game. He also drove in six runs to — yes — tie a World Series record for RBIs (a mark shared by Hideki Matsui(notes) in '09 and Bobb Richardson in 1960) . Hey, Allen Craig(notes) hit a home run too, but he got overshadowed a little.

Watch Pujols take Alexi Ogando deep, deep, deep

Head hangers: The Texas bullpen allowed 11 runs. The only batter Ogando retired was Craig.

Umpire Ron Kulpa made an egregiously bad call to help the Cardinals have a big inning in the fourth. Some goof in the bleachers wearing Rangers gear threw a ball on the field trying to interfere with the Cardinals outfield. He was thrown out of the park, but not arrested.

[Y! Sports Shop: Buy Rangers and Cardinals playoffs gear]

Key play: Other than the moment Pujols landed in the spaceship from Krypton, let's see... After Kulpa's call opened the door for the Cardinals, Napoli kicked it wide open with a throwing error. It gave an indication of how much Texas had lost control of the game.

Key Stat: As reported by @MLBStatoftheDay, the Cardinals became the first team in World Series history to score multiple runs in four straight innings; four in the fourth, three in the fifth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh.

What they'll be talking about: What did Albert tell the media in the postgame press conference? Only kidding, folks. Half-kidding. Maybe.

What's next: These pitchers will try to get someone out in Game 4 on Sunday night: Edwin Jackson(notes) for the Cardinals and Derek Holland(notes) for the Rangers.

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