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Hamilton shattered his bat the first time up and slowly jogged to first base. Later, he weakly waved and appeared overmatched as he struck out on three pitches. That left him with an 0-for-16 Series slump dating to last October.

Hamilton’s teammates were equally feeble. Maybe it was because none of the Texas starters had ever faced Garcia, maybe it was carryover from the stress that began in last year’s World Series wipeout against San Francisco.

The acrobatic Andrus made a sensational play in the fifth to keep the game scoreless.

After a two-out single by Punto and a walk to the light-hitting Garcia, Furcal slapped a hard grounder up the middle. Andrus dived to his left to stop it on the edge of the outfield grass, got to his knees and flipped the ball with his glove to second baseman Kinsler, who barely beat Garcia to the bag for a forceout.

“I always say when you’re not hitting good, you better do something good defensively,” Andrus said.

Texas batters, meanwhile, couldn’t catch up with Garcia.

Their hardest hit early in the game came in the fourth — rather, it was the hardest a Texas player got hit.

Kinsler was at third base when Adrian Beltre sent a solid, one-hopper down the line. The foul ball nailed a ducking Kinsler in the right shoulder, and he grinned while playfully rubbing it off. No smiling, though, when Beltre took a poor cut at a low pitch and struck out to strand runners at the corners.

Garcia and Lewis dominated at the outset, and no one got a hit until Furcal doubled with two outs in the St. Louis third. Before that, the closest anyone came was Jon Jay, whose bunt danced along the third base line chalk before trickling foul.

Perhaps both sides could have used some hitting tips from Stan Musial. A month shy of his 91st birthday, Stan the Man was sitting in a Busch suite. The Cardinals Hall of Famer was shown on the video board and drew a big cheer.