Rangers Rally Late Against Cardinals Pen to Even Series

The Texas Rangers used a two-run rally in the 9th to even the World Series and avoid going down 0-2 as it heads home to Arlington.  Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s magic finally ran out, at least for an inning, as St. Louis’s pen surrendered their first runs of the series.

Everything was going to plan for the Cardinals Thursday.  After winning game one, St. Louis got an impressive start out of their young left-hander Jaime Garcia.  The 25-year-old stymied Texas’s lineup, logging seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Though not quite as good as Garcia, Rangers starter Colby Lewis continued his solid postseason showing.  Lewis held the Cardinals to one run on four hits over his 6 2/3 innings of work.  St. Louis’s lone run came in the 7th inning when Allen Craig delivered for the second night in a row.  Pinch-hitting for Garcia, Craig singled to center, once again putting the Cardinals ahead late.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, Thursday’s result was different from that of game one.  Clinging to their one run lead, the Cardinals called on de facto closer Jason Motte.

Ian Kinsler got the inning started with a single to center, and went on to steal second base.  The gutsy call paid off as Kinsler went to third on Elvis Andrus’s base hit up the middle.  Andrus advanced to second on Albert Pujol’s fielding error, and the Rangers had a pair of men in scoring position with none out.

La Russa proceeded to do what he always does, playing the matchups and bringing in veteran left-hander Arthur Rhodes to face Josh Hamilton.  A day after, this move opened La Russa to criticism, as analysts questioned the manager’s decision.  Why not stick with your closer, walk Hamilton and leave Motte in to face three consecutive right-handed batters?

On the other hand, why not go with the lefty to face Hamilton, who hadn’t managed a hit in the World Series and is known to be dealing with injury.

Regardless of what you think the right decision was, La Russa stayed consistent and it didn’t work out for him.  Hamilton’s sac fly tied the game at one.  St. Louis went with right-hander Lance Lynn to face Michael Young who put the Rangers on top with sac fly of his own.

Neftali Feliz entered for Texas and, after a leadoff walk, shut the door on the Cardinals.

With the win the Rangers tied the series at one.  Today is a travel day for the clubs as the Fall Classic heads to Arlington.  Saturday in game three, Kyle Lohse and Matt Harrison face off trying to put their team one win closer to a World Series championship.

For more on the Rangers and Cardinals, be sure to check out Nolan Writin’ and Redbird Rants.

Tags: Allen Craig Arthur Rhodes Colby Lewis Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler Jaime Garcia Jason Motte Josh Hamilton Kyle Lohse Lance Lynn Matt Harrison Michael Young Neftali Feliz St Louis Cardinals Texas Rangers

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