x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Pujols finally swings into action

Albert Pujols' bat finally awoke as the St Louis slugger hit three home runs and had six runs batted in to power the Cardinals to a 16-7 victory and a 2-1 World Series lead over the Texas Rangers.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS // Albert Pujols, the sleeping giant of the Cardinals, awoke Saturday, producing the greatest hitting performance in a World Series.

Pujols, who had been held to a nought-for-six batting line in the first two games of the Fall Classic in St Louis, exploded for three home runs and six runs batted in (RBI) by going five for six to silence a sell-out crowd at Rangers Ballpark and gave St Louis a 2-1 lead in the series with a 16-7 victory.

The three home runs by the three-time National League Most Valuable Player matched exploits by the Yankees sluggers Babe Ruth (1926 and 1928) and Reggie Jackson (1977).

The Cardinals first baseman also tied Paul Molitor for most hits in a series game (five in 1982) and tied the record for most RBI (six, by Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Hideki Matsui in 2009).

Pujols tried to deflect questions about his achievement.

"It takes 25 guys on the roster ... and it's about representing the Cardinals and to be able to contribute," he said. "I'm just blessed I was able to do that."

Lance Lynn, the St Louis reliever who registered the win, empathised with the Texas pitchers.

"That's something I'm going to be able to tell my kids and grandkids," he said.