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WORLD SERIES NOTES

Starting pitchers shine

After Texas' 2-1 victory in Game 2, the Rangers and Cardinals have totaled only eight runs in two games. It's a contrast with their high-scoring league championship series.

October 21, 2011|Kevin Baxter
  • St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Texas Rangers' 2-1 victory Thursday in Game 2 of the World Series.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia delivers a pitch during the first inning… (Ron Jenkins / MCT )

ST. LOUIS — After a pair of high-scoring league championship series, the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers have combined for only eight runs in the first two games of the World Series -- or one fewer than Texas scored in the third inning of the clinching game of the American League Championship Series.

And the credit for that goes to both teams' starting pitchers. With the exception of one swing from Mike Napoli, who hit a two-run home run against Chris Carpenter in Game 1, the Rangers have been completely shut down by the Cardinals' starters.

And half of St. Louis' four World Series runs have scored on pinch-hit singles by the Cardinals' Allen Craig against Ranger reliever Alexi Ogando.

Neither team scored at all through the first three innings of the first two games. And though that may be an arcane stat, it's something that has happened only one other time in World Series history, 50 years ago when the Yankees played the Cincinnati Reds.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, October 27, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 66 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball playoffs: An article in the Oct. 21 Sports section about pitching in Game 2 of the World Series said that Colby Lewis had recorded the first quality start for the Texas Rangers in the 2011 postseason. Lewis earlier had a quality start (pitching six innings and giving up one earned run) in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"You've got to give credit to the pitching out there tonight," Texas Manager Ron Washington said Thursday, after his Rangers rallied for a 2-1 win, tying the best-of-seven series at a game apiece. "There was a lot of talk about the starting pitching not being up to par, but I'll tell you, these last two [games] I think the starting pitching has shown what they're capable of doing."

The Cardinals' Jaime Garcia and Texas' Colby Lewis matched zeroes through six innings in Game 2, with Lewis recording the first quality start by a Rangers pitcher this postseason. Garcia was even better, giving up three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings, striking out seven.

"He was perfect. He pitched great," Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said. "But we lost."

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Selig silent on McCourt case

Commissioner Bud Selig would not say whether he believes Jamie McCourt's decision to relinquish full control of the Dodgers to her former husband, Frank McCourt, would help speed a resolution of a dispute that saw Selig take control of the franchise last spring.

"I don't have comment on it," he said. "You know we're in litigation and I prefer to not comment."

Selig is expected to testify when hearings in McCourt's bankruptcy case begin later this month in Delaware.

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Pitching in

The Rangers, who had been undecided about their pitching plans heading home for Game 3, said left-hander Matt Harrison will go Saturday followed by left-hander Derek Holland in Game 4 on Sunday. Harrison was 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA in the regular season and Holland was 16-5, 3.95. The Cardinals are expected to counter with right-handers Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.39) and Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79).

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Short hops

Boston slugger David Ortiz was named winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball's most prestigious community service prize. Ortiz is the second Red Sox winner in as many years, following pitcher Tim Wakefield in 2010. Ortiz is also the sixth Latin American player to be honored in the 39 years since the award was named for the first Latin American voted into the Hall of Fame.... Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler narrowly escaped injury when he leaned away from a line drive off the bat of teammate Adrian Beltre in the fourth inning. The ball, which was foul, deflected off Kinsler's right shoulder.

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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