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Game 6: Berkman homers, Cards and Rangers tied

- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2011

That early lead didn't last long for Texas.

Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer to left-center off Colby Lewis in the bottom of the first inning, putting the Cardinals ahead 2-1. Lewis gave up an AL-high 35 homers during the regular season.

Ian Kinsler hit an RBI double in the second to tie it 2-all. Fox announcer Joe Buck says that was the Rangers' first hit in the World Series with runners in scoring position and two outs.

Texas is trying to win its first World Series crown. St. Louis hopes to force the first decisive Game 7 in the Series since 2002.

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Berkman, batting cleanup, connected on the first pitch. Just before that, Albert Pujols also went after the first pitch from Lewis but flied out to right.

Skip Schumaker scored on Berkman's homer after reaching on a one-out single. Schumaker started in center field for the second straight game in place of slumping Jon Jay, who is 0 for 14 in the World Series.

Schumaker can be an offensive spark, and that's why he's in the No. 2 hole in the lineup. St. Louis needs to get some guys on in front of Pujols, Berkman and Matt Holliday so the Rangers are forced to pitch to them _ Pujols in particular.

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Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia has walked the leadoff batter in each of the first two innings _ not the way you want to attack this Texas lineup. But he caught a break when Lewis bunted into a 5-6-4 double play in the second.

It actually wasn't a bad bunt, but third baseman David Freese was right on top of Lewis, with no threat that he would do anything but bunt. Lewis needed to push the ball to the right side _ easier said than done for an American League pitcher who normally doesn't hit.

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Game 6 is under way, and the Cardinals are in immediate trouble.

Garcia issues a leadoff walk to Kinsler before Elvis Andrus singles to left-center, sending Kinsler to third. Josh Hamilton follows with an RBI single.

With runners at the corners, Garcia buckled down. He struck out Michael Young and Adrian Beltre before Nelson Cruz grounded out. Texas leads 1-0.

That's already more than the Rangers managed against Garcia in Game 2, when he yielded only three hits in seven shutout innings while striking out seven.

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Clear skies in St. Louis tonight, after Game 6 of the World Series was postponed a day because of rain. The temperature is 56 degrees with little wind. Not a bad night to play ball.

Much has been made about who would pitch for the Cardinals in a potential Game 7. The rainout gives manager Tony La Russa a chance to bring back ace Chris Carpenter on three days' rest if he wants. But they have to get there first, and nobody is more aware of that than La Russa. He refused to look beyond Game 6 during his pregame news conference today.

On the mound, it's a rematch of the Game 2 pitching duel between Garcia and Lewis. Both were outstanding last time out, and the Rangers rallied in the ninth inning for a 2-1 victory.

Garcia is at his best in Busch Stadium, while Lewis has been Texas' most reliable postseason starter the past two years. He is 4-1 with a 2.22 ERA in seven starts, and it was Lewis who threw a gem to close out the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 2010 AL championship series.

He gets another shot at a clincher tonight.

Regardless of the Game 5 phone fiasco, the Cardinals have been let down by the deep bullpen that carried them into the Series. But they also need to get their big bats going.

Pujols enters 0 for 12 besides his record-setting outburst in Game 3, when he had three homers, five hits, six RBIs and 14 total bases. Berkman was batting .389, but he had struck out seven times. Holliday was 3 for 18 (.167) without an RBI, and leadoff man Rafael Furcal was 3 for 20 (.150).

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