With Game 6 of the 2011 World Series tied, 4-4, entering the seventh at Busch Stadium, the magnitude of the moment had seemingly gotten the better of players on both sides. The bottom of the sixth was the entire contest in miniature. There was a fielding error by Rangers first baseman Michael Young, a baserunning blunder by Matt Holliday and reliever Alexi Ogando walked in a run and then uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runners once Holliday had been erased at third.
By virtue of the run that they'd pulled back against Ogando, the Cardinals had pulled even in a game they had seemingly tried to hand to the visiting Rangers at every turn. Through six frames, the Rangers just hadn't been able to grab onto this gifted game with two hands.
In the top of the seventh, though, the Rangers grabbed hold with two homers.
Leading off the road seventh, Adrian Beltre watched a ball from reliever Lance Lynn pop the glove of Cards catcher Yadier Molina to begin his at-bat. The second pitch would never make it to Molina. Beltre shot it out to the right-field stands. The Rangers were back in front, 5-4.
As Beltre was still being congratulated in the dugout for his opposite-field blast, Nelson Cruz was quickly falling behind Lynn, 0-2, in the count. He then took a ball, as Lynn hoped to get him chasing for a third strike. The next pitch was chased, and caught, by Cruz. The ALCS MVP absolutely destroyed the ball, pulling it high into the stands in left field.
With back-to-back home runs, the Rangers led 6-4 and appeared -- at long last -- to have gotten control of this bewildering contest. But in a contest where nothing came easily -- or without the help of the opposition -- the Cardinals staged a stirring comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up again, 7-7.
We're heading for extra innings. Free baseball!
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