The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

June 21, 2013

Memories of 2011 sting as Rangers visit St. Louis

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington insists he won't have any flashbacks or cold sweats when his team gets to St. Louis.

Still, Elvis Andrus remembers how close the Rangers were to a World Series championship the last time they were there.

"Not too good for sure," Andrus said when asked of his lasting memory of St. Louis. "Think about how close we were."

A three-game interleague series at Busch Stadium starting Friday will be the Rangers' first trip back since the 2011 World Series, when they were twice within a strike of winning the title in Game 6 and then blew an early 2-0 lead in Game 7.

"Good memories — and bad memories," said Nelson Cruz, the AL championship MVP that year after six homers and 13 RBIs in the ALCS against Detroit. "So I'm going to keep the good ones."

Cruz was playing right field that October night when David Freese, with two strikes and two outs, hit a tying two-run triple just beyond the reach of his glove. The tying run was scored by Lance Berkman, now with the Rangers.

After Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the Texas 10th, the Cardinals got even again in the bottom of the inning after Berkman's RBI single. World Series MVP Freese led off the bottom of the 11th with a homer.

Rangers reliever Kyle McClellan, who like Berkman was in St. Louis then but is now in his first season with Texas, said even the Cardinals were in shock after Game 6.

"Everybody, complete uniform, just standing around (in the clubhouse)," said McClellan, the Missouri native who won 12 games that season but didn't pitch in the World Series. "I don't think anybody realized what we just saw."

Texas scored two runs in the first inning of Game 7 the next night, but St. Louis tied it in the bottom half and went on to a 6-2 victory.

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