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Cardinals’ 11th-inning homer forces Rangers to Game 7 in Series

Updated: November 29, 2011 8:31AM

ST. LOUIS — There were bobbled double-play grounders, pop-ups plopping out of gloves, wild-and-crazy throws and overly polite fielders playing dodgeball in the outfield.

Getting an extra day of rest thanks to rain showers the day before led to a showcase of sloppy baseball in Game 6 of the World Series on Thursday night before a record crowd at Busch Stadium.

The extra rest for the Rangers and Cardinals was needed when this game went 11 innings, finally ending when David Freese belted a leadoff homer to straightaway center off Mark Lowe for a crazy 10-9 Cards victory to force Game 7 of the 107th World Series on Friday night.

After rallying from two-run deficits in the ninth and 10th innings, the Cardinals ended the drama after 4 hours, 33 minutes. The Rangers, who have never won a World Series in franchise history, wake up this morning knowing they were twice one strike away from being called world champs.

“It’s not that easy to win a world championship,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said, “as we found out tonight.”

Down to their last strike in the ninth, Freese belted a two-run triple, tying the score at 7. The Rangers restored their two-run lead when a hobbling Josh Hamilton belted a two-run homer off Jason Motte in the 10th. But the Cards plugged away.

Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay opened the 10th with singles off Darren Oliver. After the runners were bunted to second and third, right-hander Scott Feldman took over and retired former Cub Ryan Theriot on a run-scoring grounder to third. That made it 9-8 Rangers. Albert Pujols was intentionally walked, bringing up Lance Berkman, who tied it on a single to center.

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