ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers take Game 5 and a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rangers' first lead in this World Series. The game featured both teams' No. 1 starters, C.J. Wilson and Chris Carpenter, but the outcome was decided after both had left. Carpenter pitched well, allowing two runs in seven innings. Wilson struggled but fought through to keep his team in the game, giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
What it means: The Rangers need just one win in St. Louis to claim their first World Series championship in club history. They won Games 4 and 5 at home after losing Game 3 to fall behind 2-1 in the series.
Year of the Napoli: Catcher Mike Napoli continues to come through in the clutch. With two runners on and one out in the bottom of the eighth, he delivered a double the opposite way to score two runs. It was odd to see Tony La Russa stick with lefty Marc Rzepczynski against Napoli, who hit .319 against left-handed pitching this season. Napoli delivered. Again. He was batting in that spot after manager Ron Washington switched the lineup in Game 4 and sandwiched Napoli between the lefties.
Unconventional intentional walk: Washington decided to intentionally walk Albert Pujols after Allen Craig was caught stealing to clear the bases with two outs. ESPN Stats & Information's initial check shows that is the first intentional walk with the bases empty in World Series history. The Cardinals loaded the bases, but David Freese hit a first-pitch fly ball to center to end the threat. So Pujols ended up getting the Miguel Cabrera treatment.
Bobbling balls: The Rangers had trouble getting the handle on a couple of balls in the second, and it hurt them. Left-fielder David Murphy twice bobbled Yadier Molina's RBI single, allowing Lance Berkman to go to third (Murphy likely didn't have a play at home even if he'd played it cleanly). Mitch Moreland bobbled a ground ball by Skip Schumaker and couldn't throw home in time to get Berkman, who was running on contact.
Big blasts: Texas scored both of its runs off Carpenter via the homer. Mitch Moreland hit a blast to right field, measured at 446 feet, in the third inning. It landed in the middle of the home run porch. Adrian Beltre followed in the sixth with the tying homer, belting a curveball from one knee into the seats in left.
Walks, walks and more walks: Wilson walked Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman to start the second inning and couldn't work out of that jam. He finished with five walks and has 19 for the postseason. That matches Jaret Wright for the most in a single postseason (1997).
Other intentional walks of Pujols: The Rangers intentionally walked Pujols two other times, a little more conventionally, and it worked both times. The first was in the third, after Allen Craig had sacrificed Rafael Furcal to third, putting runners at the corners to set up the double play. And Wilson got the double-play ball to third off Holliday's bat. In the fifth, Pujols was walked with two outs, and Holliday grounded out to end the inning.
Great catch: Murphy, moments after getting charged with an error in the second, made a terrific play to save an additional run. He dove in left field and took a single away from Nick Punto.
Faulty flip: Wilson tried to make a backhand flip to first base in the third, which fell short. Moreland couldn't get a handle on it and the error put Furcal at second. Wilson was able to work out of the jam (that was a theme in Game 5).
Deja vu: Just like Game 4, Monday's Game 5 started with Rafael Furcal hitting a hard liner to third base. Adrian Beltre, once again, snagged it for a hard out. It began a quick 1-2-3 inning for Wilson, who needed only eight pitches to get through the first.
Wasted chances: The Cardinals had at least two men on base in five of the first seven innings, but scored in only the second inning. They were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Wilson battles: Wilson didn't have his best stuff and flirted with danger for most of his outing. But he was able to keep damage to a minimum and allow his offense to scratch back into it.
Bounce goes Rangers' way: Murphy stayed in to face a lefty in the eighth and he hit a ground ball off the pitcher's leg for an infield single. That allowed Napoli to come in and bat with the bases loaded.
Feliz gets the save: Neftali Feliz came in and got the save. He hit the first batter he faced but struck out Albert Pujols and then Napoli threw to second for a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play that got Craig.