Craig HR, Freese 2B give Cards 5-2 lead in Game 7

By Ronald Blum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 28 2011 8:40 p.m. MDT

Albert Pujols walked for the sixth time in the Series, on four pitches, and Berkman walked on five. Freese worked the count full and lined the ball on two hops to the wall in left-center, with Pujols raising both arms in triumph as he crossed the plate. Molina then flied out to Hamilton in front of the fence in center.

Mike Napoli singled leading off the second, and David Murphy hit into a forceout. Harrison sacrificed Murphy to third, Kinsler walked and Murphy took third when Pujols dropped a pickoff throw at first from Molina. Carpenter induced Andrus to hit into an inning-ending comebacker.

Furcal singled leading off the bottom half, but Skip Schumaker grounded into a double play on the next pitch. Carpenter hit Beltre on the forearm with a pitch with two outs in the third before retiring Cruz on a flyout.

Kinsler singled leading off the fifth to reach base for the third time, and Andrus sacrificed. Hamilton then hit a foul pop in front of the third-base dugout. Freese, who dropped a popup for an error on Thursday, leaned over and caught it while slipping. Carpenter then struck out Young, pumping both arms in emotion.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa didn't decide on Carpenter instead of a rested Kyle Lohse until Friday morning, waiting until after pitching coach Dave Duncan spoke with his ace.

"Dave had a real heart-to-heart with him to gauge just how ready he was to pitch just physically, not mentally but physically," La Russa said. "The last thing is I think what he means to our club, I think our guys feel better about him starting than anybody."

Carpenter, 3-0 this postseason and 8-2 in his career, became just the second pitcher in 20 years to make three starts in one World Series, following Arizona's Curt Schilling in 2001.

La Russa moved slumping Furcal down to No. 7 in the batting order and hit second baseman Ryan Theriot leadoff. Craig started in place of Holliday, who sprained his right wrist in Game 6 and was replaced on the active roster by rookie outfielder Adron Chambers.

NOTES: The Cardinals' also will play the next game in the major leagues, helping open the Miami Marlins' new ballpark on April 4. ... A record 38 of a possible 43 postseason games were played this year. A record 13 have been decided by one run, one more than 1995, 1997 and 2003. ... Florida pitchers walked 40 in 1997.

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