ST. LOUIS — David Freese homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals forced the World Series to a Game 7 by rallying from two-run deficits against the Texas Rangers in the 9th and 10th on Thursday night.
Freese hit a two-run triple just over a leaping Nelson Cruz to tie the score 7-7 in the ninth inning against Neftali Feliz. Then, after Josh Hamilton put Texas ahead with a two-run homer in the 10th off Jason Motte, Ryan Theriot hit an RBI groundout in the bottom half and Lance Berkman tied it 9-9 with a single.
Freese’s shot to center came off Mark Lowe.
Game 7 is Friday night.
Texas had built a 7-4 lead in the seventh when Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz hit consecutive home runs off Lance Lynn, and Ian Kinsler added an RBI single off Octavio Dotel.
LA RUSSA PANS MONEY BALL: Tony La Russa took advantage of the Game 6 postponement to hit the movie theater.
Maybe the popcorn was satisfying. But, boy, was he disappointed in “Moneyball.”
The St. Louis Cardinals manager has long been a critic of the ever-mushrooming trend of relying on advanced statistics in baseball, and seized on an opening to poke fun at the sabremetrics crowd earlier in the postseason. As for the movie, the manager thought the actors did a good job, but he didn’t like much else.
La Russa didn’t like the premise, focusing on fringe success stories and virtually ignoring core stars such as Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez and Billy Koch that powered the Oakland Athletics.
“I mean, I was offended because of what the book represented, and I know a lot of those guys that were portrayed,” the manager said. “I knew a few of those guys as scouts. It strains the credibility a little bit.”
La Russa said a handful of trades along with Scott Hatteberg’s conversion from catcher to first base was overemphasized.
“That club was carried by those guys that were signed, developed the old fashioned way,” he said. “That part wasn’t enjoyable because it’s a nice story, but it is not accurate enough.”
SECOND FIDDLE: No matter how the World Series winds up, the Texas Rangers realize they won’t be No. 1 back home. And that’s all right.
“That’s such a high standard, the Cowboys, in our marketplace,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “But I don’t really look at it as competition with them.
“I think that our fans are good enough and into the sports scene, especially the championship-caliber teams, that there’s enough room for all of us,” he added.
There’s also the Mavericks to contend with.
Daniels notes attendance has picked up dramatically, with the Rangers drawing just under 3 million this season, “and it was the hottest summer on record.”
“I know me being a pampered New Yorker, I had trouble handling it, and you would have, too,” Daniels said. “And these guys are 40,000 strong in 106 degrees at 7:05 at night.”
DESIGNATED TALKER: On days during the postseason when there are no probable pitchers to send to the interview room, teams pick a player to meet the press.
Before making his second straight start in center field for Game 6, the Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker made his second appearance at the podium. He was the team’s choice in the division series against the Phillies earlier in October.
“He’s not assigned,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But he’s good at it and he has a good idea out there.”
Schumaker made the conversion to second base in spring training two years ago, so he’s accustomed to adapting on the fly.
“It doesn’t bother me too much,” Schumaker said. “I’m OK to sit at a podium during a World Series. I’m all right with that.”
Schumaker was 6 for 10 against Philadelphia in the first round before leaving Game 5 against the Phillies with an oblique strain. He was left off the roster for the NLCS against Milwaukee.
HALL OF FAME COIN: The House of Representatives voted this week to authorize the U.S. Mint to produce a series of coins honoring the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The bill, introduced in July by Reps. Richard Hanna of New York, Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Joe Barton of Texas, passed by a vote of 416-3. It was co-sponsored by 295 members of Congress.
“The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act unites every fan of the game in celebrating the timelessness of America’s pastime,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said.
“The Coin Act will connect every generation in commemorating the impact Cooperstown has had on the national landscape,” Idelson said, “honoring our baseball heroes while educating future generations on the historical significance of the game and its lore.”