The Texas Rangers were one strike away from being World Champions Thursday night in St. Louis…twice. Both times the strike turned into a Cardinals hit. St. Louis took advantage of the opportunity and won the game 10-9 in 11 innings to tie the best-of-seven series at 3 games each.
In what was one of the best World Series games in history, Texas held the lead 5 different times, only to have the Cards come back to tie. Eventually, the Rangers were held scoreless and the Cardinals won the game with a home run by David Freese (also with 2 strikes against him) in the bottom of the 11th.
Several Rangers looked to be heroes in the game. Josh Hamilton had an RBI single in the first inning, scored in the 5th, and put the Rangers up by 2 runs in the 10th. Nelson Cruz hit an MLB-record 8th postseason home run. Adrian Beltre put the Rangers up a run in the 7th. Ian Kinsler had 2 RBI’s and scored a run.
Texas had the Cardinals right where they wanted them in the 9th inning. With a 2-run lead and Neftali Feliz on the mound, the Rangers were on the verge of victory. With 2 on base, 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter, Feliz left one over the plate for Freese, who hit a double just past Nelson Cruz in right field which scored 2 runs to tie the game. It is Feliz’ first blown save since August.
The Rangers had another 2-run lead in the 10th inning when Darren Oliver allowed 2 runners to get on base. Scott Feldman replaced Oliver but allowed Lance Berkman to hit the game-tying RBI single, again with 2 outs and 2 strikes.
Mark Lowe pitched the 11th inning for the Rangers, giving up the walk-off home run to Freese, who was the first batter he faced.
The Rangers have one more opportunity, Game 7 is tonight at 7:05pm.