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Holliday continues to swing hot bat in Fall Classic

Cards slugger 'much healthier' than '11 Series, drives in three in Game 3 win

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday experienced the full range of emotions in Game 3 of the World Series, from elation after his first-inning RBI single gave the Cardinals their first lead, to an embarrassing out on the bases in the third, to more elation with his go-ahead two-run double in the seventh. When Holliday rushed onto the field to celebrate the most unconventional of victories, he was spent.

"A little bit of everything," Holliday said, summing up his night. "I'd like to go home."

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He went home happy after driving in three of the Cards' runs in an exhausting 5-4 win over the Red Sox on Saturday night at Busch Stadium.

Holliday had two more hits and is 10-for-26 (.385) in his last six games this postseason. Since Sept. 1, he is hitting .336 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 37 games. The Cardinals have won 25 of them.

It is a much different World Series experience than 2011, when Holliday was enduring a season marred by appendicitis, tendinitis in his right hand and a back strain during the regular season, then had it cut short when he injured his right pinkie finger on a pickoff at third base in Game 6 of the World Series.

"I'm much healthier now," Holliday said. "I feel much better about myself now than I did then. But I just try to have good at-bats, try to help the team win games, and try not to look at too big a picture. … I'm here to win games, and if I get a chance to help, I'm grateful."

He helped beginning in the first inning of Game 3, when Holliday's opposite-field single was the first of four Cardinals hits and two runs against Boston's Jake Peavy.

Two innings later, Holliday reached first base again, albeit briefly. His pop fly to shallow center field ticked off Jacoby Ellsbury's glove, but Holliday, who was slow out of the batter's box, rounded too far around first and was unable to get back to the bag. Dustin Pedroia fired to first baseman David Ortiz for the out.

Holliday redeemed himself in the seventh with a tiebreaking, two-run double against Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa. The pitch was a splitter, only a few inches off the ground. Holliday golfed it into left field.

"I consider myself a good low ball hitter," Holliday said.

The Cardinals have won consecutive games for a 2-1 lead in the Series, and will try to keep rolling Sunday night (7 CT air time on FOX, 7:15 first pitch). Holliday is expecting a similarly competitive game.

"I think it's two good teams, two teams that continue to battle," he said. "They've done it all year. It's going to be a hard-fought Series."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday