Down to their last three outs and facing another World Series loss, the Texas Rangers hooked up some smart base-running and timely hitting to tie the series at a game a-piece with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday night.
Allen Craig once again hit the go-ahead single, this time in the seventh, to give the Cardinals a one-run lead that lasted a whole inning. We totally knew they were gonna blow it as soon as Ian Kinsler dropped a base hit off closer Jason Motte into shallow center field over the head of Rafael Furcal and out of the reach of Matt Holliday in the top of the ninth. Those circus acts always result in at least a run or two.
With Elvis Andrus at the plate, Kinsler swiped second all heads up before Andrus hit one to virtually the same spot. Kinsler advanced to third while Andrus sneaked over to second on the throw by John Jay that tipped Albert Pujols' glove and headed for Yadier Molina. What a mess... it took the official scorers almost an hour after the game ended to give an error on the play to Pujols, who avoided the media after the loss... kind of a bitch move. Anyway, this is about the time Motte exited the game.
Former Rangers reliever Arthur Rhodes, whose salary is being paid nearly in full by the opposition, entered to take care of Josh Hamilton. He had other plans, driving Kinsler in and moving Andrus to third on a sacrifice fly. Tie ball game.
Just when we thought this one might go into extras, Lance Lynn relieved Rhodes and immediately allowed Michael Young to score Andrus on a sac fly and give the Rangers the lead. Adrian Beltre grounded out to third to end the inning and Neftali Feliz shut it down in the bottom of the ninth to bring the 1-1 series back to Arlington with a clean slate.
We must suffer through another day without baseball today as we wait for Game 3 Saturday night. Cards right-hander Kyle Lohse and his god-awful flavor-savor takes on yet another Rangers lefty, Matt Harrison at Rangers Ballpark at 8:05pm ET on FOX. We can hardly wait.