- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2011

What a performance by Derek Holland!

With his Texas Rangers trailing two games to one in the World Series, the 25-year-old lefty took a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts into the ninth inning against a powerful Cardinals lineup.

After a one-out walk to Rafael Furcal, manager Ron Washington came out to the mound for a long discussion with Holland, who later said he was “begging” to finish the job.

It looked as if Washington might give the kid a chance, but then he stepped aside and signaled to the bullpen for closer Neftali Feliz, bringing boos from the crowd.

Holland waved to fans as he walked to the dugout. Feliz retired Albert Pujols on a fly to center and struck out Matt Holliday with two on to secure Texas’ 4-0 victory.

The World Series is tied at two games apiece and will go back to St. Louis for Game 6. Before that, Game 5 is Monday night in Texas.

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Holland still was throwing 96 mph in the ninth, with a chance at the first complete-game shutout in the World Series since Josh Beckett’s gem for Florida to clinch the 2003 title at Yankee Stadium.

Rangers fans chanted Holland’s name.

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Crowd roars as Holland throws a called third strike past Lance Berkman to end the seventh inning.

Berkman didn’t like the call, but it certainly looked like a strike.

Holland, a 16-game winner during the regular season, is throwing a gem. He walked only two and needed fewer than 100 pitches to get through seven innings.

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Nolan Ryan claps his approval as Holland walks off the mound with six shutout innings under his belt.

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