ST. LOUIS (AP) - Mark Lowe wanted the ball in his hand Thursday night.
The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals had already waged a thriller for the ages, and they were still tied at the start of the 11th inning. Lowe came into the game to face David Freese, who earlier had driven in the tying runs to send the game to extra innings.
“If you don’t want to be in that situation I was in as a pitcher,” Lowe said, “you’re in the wrong business. This is what I’ve worked for my whole career and I was where I wanted to be.”
Too bad his pitch wasn’t.
Lowe’s change-up drifted over the plate and Freese tattooed it to center field, the winning homer sending the record crowd of 47,325 at Busch Stadium into a delirious frenzy. The homer gave St. Louis a dramatic 10-9 victory and forced the first Game 7 in the World Series since 2002.
“Just worked the count, and I was worried about getting on base, leding off an inning, taking a walk, breaking a bat, single, whatever,” Freese said. “Full count came, and I knew he had a good change-up. So I kind of had that in the back of my head. But sitting here, he threw a change up, he shook to the change up and I got the head out.”
The rest will go down in baseball lore.
“I didn’t have the results I wanted,” Lowe said, “but tomorrow’s a new day and I could get in there and get a big out and nobody remembers this game. That’s baseball.”
Lowe hurt his hamstring doing aerobic exercises in late September, and he wasn’t on the roster for the first two rounds of the playoffs. He was finally added just before the World Series opener last Wednesday, and his allowed one run on two hits in an inning of work during Game 3 in Texas.
That was his first appearance since Sept. 20 against Oakland.
He hopes to get another chance in Game 7 on Friday night.
“We’ve been coming back all year long,” Lowe said. “It’s not our first walk-off loss. We’ll come in here ready to go.”
BLACK AND BLUE: Two of the biggest hitters in the World Series are in wait-and-see mode for Game 7 after picking up injuries Thursday night.
Texas slugger Nelson Cruz strained his groin late in the Cardinals’ dramatic, come-from-behind 10-9 victory, while St. Louis could be without outfielder Matt Holliday, who hurt the small finger on his right hand while sliding into third base in the sixth inning.