Albert Pujols hits a solo home run in the ninth inning, his third of the night, as the Cards cruise to a 2-1 series lead. (Rob Carr/Getty Images) • Box score | Photos from Rangers BallparkARLINGTON — Albert Pujols launched the first one off the facade in far away left field, and if there hadn’t been another one, it would have been a World Series moment to remember.Sometimes, though, the great ones do things that lift them above the others, things that define their greatness and make comparisons to others seem silly.This was one of those nights, and a World Series game that hadn’t been particularly well played or close, instead became a defining moment for baseball’s best player.Pujols became just the third man in history to hit three home runs in a World Series game in leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 16-7 victory over the Texas Rangers Saturday night in front of 51,462 at the Ballpark in Arlington.“It’s pretty special,” he said. “To do it on this stage is amazing. I didn’t walk into the ballpark today thinking I was going to have a night like this. I just wanted to help this ballclub win.”After grounding out to third base in the first inning, Pujols went on to collect five hits, drive in six runs and score four runs.“He just got locked in,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.Indeed he did. His first home run was a breathtaking shot in the sixth, and it was followed by another in the seventh and yet another in the ninth.In the long history of the World Series, only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson had ever hit three home runs in a World Series game. Ruth did it twice, in 1926 and 1928. Jackson did it in 1977.“He’s better than Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson combined,” teammate Lance Berkman said.Pujols also singled twice, and by the time he was done, had written his name all over the World Series record book. He’s the third player ever with six RBIs, the second with five hits and the only player ever with 14 total bases.“To tell you the truth, I don’t concentrate on numbers,” he said. “This is not an individual game. I just try to help my ballclub to win. Hopefully, at the end of my career, we can look back and say, `What a game it was in Game 3.”’Now the 2011 World Series is at its first important crossroadsthanks to a game that mixed Pujols’ greatness with a dash of slapstick defense and a pinch of boneheaded umpiring, among other things.When the Rangers and Cardinals were done, that is, when the last of the 356 pitches had been thrown and the 28 hits and three errors tallied, it was the Cardinals who’d taken a large step toward their 11th championship.When the Rangers hand the ball to lefthander Derek Holland tonight for Game 4, they’ll ask him to keep them from falling into a very difficult hole.On a night when neither starting pitcher–Kyle Lohse of the Cardinals and Matt Harrison of the Rangers–got out of the fourth inning and both managers were forced to use their bullpens early and often, two moments stand out.One was a blown call by first base umpire Ron Kulpa that gave the Cardinals a big break during a four-run fourth inning. That mistake would loom larger if the Rangers hadn’t come completely undone after that, allowing the Cardinals 15 hits in all and committing three errors, including one by first baseman Mike Napoli that allowed two runs to score in fourth inning.But this night will be remembered because of Pujols put himself into the record book alongside Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson. He plays the game with such a combination of precision, power and discipline that there’s a feeling of anticipation each time he steps to the plate.His first home run bounced off the facing of the upper deck, missing by inches becoming the 16th ball hit into the seats in the second deck. That one was the back breaker for the Rangers, but Pujols was just getting started.As reporters reminded him about the history he’d made, he kept telling them it was a team game. On this night, it was anything but.In the Cardinals dugout, players began whispering after the second home run and even more after the third. They said Pujols was having a night he’d never forget. They may be right about that, but then neither will they.“Has somebody had a better day in the World Series?” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa asked reporters.Uh, no.Pujols’ big night–It’s the fourth three-home run game in World Series history, joining Babe Ruth (Game 4 in 1926 and Game 4 in 1928) and Reggie Jackson (Game 6 in 1977).–It’s the eighth three-home run game in postseason history.–It was the 50th multi-homer game in World Series history.–His six RBIs matches a single-game World Series record, joining Bobby Richardson (Game 3 in 1960 and Hideki Matsui (Game 6 in 2009).–His five hits ties a single-game World Series record by Paul Molitor (Game 1 in 1982).–He’s the first player to have a hit in four consecutive innings of a World Series game.