- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2011

The hitters coming off the bench for Texas look really rusty. Most of them haven’t had much action lately, and that’s hurting the Rangers so far in the World Series.

Craig Gentry and Esteban German in Game 1. Yorvit Torrealba and German in Game 2. Swinging at balls in the dirt, taking pitches down the middle _ their at-bats have been pretty ugly.

Rangers manager Ron Washington has sent four pinch hitters to the plate against Cardinals lefty Marc Rzepczynski. All right-handed batters. Rzepczynski has retired each one, three on strikeouts.

Heading to the ninth, Cardinals lead 1-0. Top of the lineup due up for Texas against fireballing closer Jason Motte.

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We’ve seen this before.

Allen Craig came through against Alexi Ogando again, delivering a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning that gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead in Game 2 on Thursday night.

Jaime Garcia pitched a brilliant game for the Cardinals, striking out seven through seven innings in a scoreless duel with Texas starter Colby Lewis.

But when Garcia’s spot came up in the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals had runners at first and third with two outs. So manager Tony La Russa pulled Garcia for Craig, and Washington went to Ogando.

Same matchup as Game 1, when Craig’s pinch-hit single to right off Ogando broke a tie and sent the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory.

It was practically a replay in Game 2. Craig took a low-outside fastball and served it into right field for the go-ahead hit.

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Garcia was 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in three postseason starts before Thursday night. But the Rangers had never faced him before, and he had them off balance all night.

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David Freese extended his postseason hitting streak to 12 games with a seventh-inning single.

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