Cardinals win World Series
Home teams have won nine straight Game 7s, starting with the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates' 4-1 victory at Baltimore.
In his first outing on short rest, Carpenter gave up four runs over three innings in Game 2 of the division series at Philadelphia. He wasn't sharp at all at the start of this one, either, starting seven of his first 10 batters with balls.
Ian Kinsler singled leading off, then tried to steal second on a 1-0 pitch to Elvis Andrus, stumbled and was thrown out at first by Molina. Andrus walked, and Hamilton doubled down the right field line for a 1-0 lead. Young then lofted a soft opposite-field double to right to drive in Hamilton. Carpenter struck out Adrian Beltre and retired Cruz on a groundout to limit the damage.
Harrison then got into trouble with his control with two outs in the bottom half, and the Rangers had Wilson starting to warm up after five batters and 23 pitches.
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.
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