One night after Albert Pujols' record-setting night gave the Cardinals a 2-1 series edge, the Rangers managed to even the best-of-seven set on Sunday, as Derek Holland tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings to lead Texas to a 4-0 win.
"I've never really got to experience how loud that crowd was today. That's the loudest I've ever heard it, and it made my arm hair stick up. It gave me a crazy tingly feeling," Holland said.
Holland (2-0), who had not pitched past the fifth inning in his previous three starts this postseason, allowed just two hits and struck out seven while walking two. The left-hander, though, had tied for the AL lead this past season with four shutouts.
Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the first inning staked the Rangers to an early lead, and Mike Napoli added to it in the sixth by crushing Mitchell Boggs' first pitch deep into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer.
"I was looking for something up and kind of had an idea they were probably going to try to pound me in, and I just got a pitch up that I could handle," recalled Napoli.
Pujols, fresh off tying World Series records with three home runs and six RBI in Game 3, went hitless in four at-bats, while David Freese saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end.
Edwin Jackson (1-1) labored through his outing and was pulled after walking consecutive hitters with one out in the sixth -- the sixth and seventh free pass the starter allowed.
St. Louis, which scored 16 runs and had 15 hits in Saturday's Game 3 rout, managed just two hits - both from Lance Berkman - on Sunday, the second- largest drop off for one team from one World Series game to the next. The 16- run falloff also matched a World Series record set by the 1938 New York Yankees.
"He did an outstanding job," Pujols said of Holland. "It was a big leap for them. He saved the bullpen. In Game 3, we got into the bullpen deep, and that's what we couldn't do today. For me, I got some good pitches to hit, and I just missed them. But that's just part of the game."
Hoping for a little more run support tonight will be Carpenter, who has won his last three postseason starts. Carpenter beat the Rangers in Game 1 of this series, holding Texas to a pair of runs and five hits in six innings.
"If you want to choose somebody from the St. Louis Cardinals to pitch that game, it's Chris," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said after Sunday's loss. "I mean, there isn't anything about pitching on the road in a hostile environment. I think he actually likes it, pitches better."
Carpenter is 8-2 with a 3.10 ERA over 13 postseason starts.
Texas, meanwhile, will pin its hopes on lefty C.J. Wilson, who has been a huge disappointment for the Rangers in these playoffs, going 0-3 with a 7.17 ERA.
"That's what the commercial says, that legends are born in the postseason, or whatever," said Wilson, a free agent at season's end.
Wilson, a 16-game winner and an All-Star this past season for the Rangers, lost to Carpenter and the Cardinals in Game 1, as he surrendered three runs and four hits and walked six in 5 2/3 innings.
"Yes, he struggled in the postseason this year," Texas manager Ron Washington said, "but we still feel that the next time he takes the ball is the time we'll see the C.J. that we know we have."
St. Louis took two of three from the Rangers in Arlington in their only other visit there back in 2004.