Rangers take 2-1 series win over St. Louis

In their first game at Globe Life Park in Arlington since Game 5 of the 2011 World Series, when the Rangers took a 3-2 series lead with a 4-2 win, the Cardinals matched up against Texas on Friday, May 17, the birth date of Brycen "Two Chord" Aynes.

With 34,398 in attendance on Friday, Jose Leclerc began the game on the mound for Texas and pitched a scoreless first inning with two strikeout. As for the Rangers, Shin-Soo Choo started the bottom half of the first with a lead-off single off of St. Louis pitcher Miles Mikolas. Five pitches later, Mikolas got Willie Calhoun to ground into a double play on a 3-1 pitch, bringing up Hunter Pence with two outs in the inning. After a seven pitch at-bat from Pence, the Rangers designated hitter stuck out swining.

In the top of the second, Adrian Sampson replaced Leclec on the mound for the Rangers. Sampson escaped the second allowing no runs, after giving up a double to Jose Martinez and a walk to Dexter Fowler. The game took a wide turn for Texas in the bottom of the second inning, as Cardinals pitcher Mikolas was able to earn one out in the inning. Joey Gallo led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right field, before Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a pitch, playing runners at first and second for Logan Forsythe. 

Forsythe lined a 3-2 pitch off of Mikolas into center field, to give the Rangers the 1-0 lead. One pitch later, Rougned Odor pounded the first pitch he saw from Mikolas into left center field, extending Texas' lead to 4-0. Mikolas was able to get the first out of the inning with a strikeout from Ronal Guzman. Rangers catcher Jeff Mathis then singled into left field, before Shin-Soo Choo took a 1-2 pitch from Mikolas into the second deck in right field, adding two more onto the Texas lead. Before Mikolas was relieved of his duties, he allowed one more run after a double from Calhoun, a single from Pence, and an RBI single from Joey Gallo. Giovanny Gallegos then replaced Mikolas on the mound and escaped the inning with no more damage being done.

Down by seven runs in the top of the third, Harrison Bader led off the inning with a single to left field, before Matt Carpenter singled to right field, putting runners at the corners with no outs for Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals first baseman hit a ground ball to second base and reached on an error, as well as drove in St. Louis' first run of the ball game. After a line out to center field from Paul DeJong, Marcell Ozuna gave the Cardinals their second run as he drove in Matt Carpenter on a groundout to second base. After crossing the plate twice in the inning, the Cardinals threat was over with a Yadier Molina flyout to end the top of the inning.

Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the game until the top of ninth inning, when Harrison Bader hit an 0-2 pitch over the right field wall, to make the eventual final score 7-3 in favor of the Texas Rangers.

Miles Mikolas took the Game 1 loss, as Adrian Sampson earned the win after pitching 5.1 innings for the Rangers with only one earned run.

After a two hour rain delay on Saturday, May 18, for Game 2, Ariel Jurado started the game for Texas on the mound. Jurado gave up a lead-off single to Matt Carpenter to begin the game, but then retired the Cardinals with a groundout, flyout, and a strikeout.

Dakota Hudson took the mound for St. Louis on Saturday after a horrendous start from the Cardinals starter on Friday night. Hudson walked the first batter he saw and then gave up a singe, however the young pitcher Chattanooga, Tennessee, escaped the inning with no harm after a groundout, a foul pop out, and a groundout.

In the second inning, both teams hit one single, and then were retired without scoring the games first run.

Harrison Bader led off the top of the third for St. Louis with a bloop single to right field. Then, after a line out from Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt reached on an error from the Rangers first baseman, putting runners at first and second with Paul DeJong up to bat. During DeJong's at-bat, Jurado threw a wild pitch, advancing the runners to second and third with one out. De Jong grounded out two pitches later, but drove in Bader to give the Rebirds the 1-0 lead. To end the inning, Texas' starter Jurado struck out Marcell Ozuna.

Only one batter reached base in the bottom of the third and the fourth inning combined, before the Cardinals took the ballgame into their hands in the top of the fifth. Kolton Wong led off the inning with a flyout to left field, before Bader singled on a ground ball to the shortstop. Matt Carpenter then double off the wall in the left field to score Bader from first base, making the score 2-0. After a walk to Paul Goldschmidt, the Rangers replaced Ariel Jurado with Jeanmar Gomez. Two pitches into Gomez' appearance, Paul DeJong doubled to left field, driving in Carpenter and Goldschmidt, to make the score 4-0 St. Louis.

The Cardinals next batter, Marcell Ozuna, then drew a seven-pitch walk, before Jose Martinez hit an RBI single to right field, driving in DeJong. One pitch later, Yadier Molina grounded out, but drove in Ozuna, to make the score 6-0. After facing four batters and earning no outs, the Rangers relieved Gomez with Brett Martin on the mound. Martin walked the first batter he faced, Dexter Fowler, before ending the inning with a pop out from Kolton Wong.

Going into the bottom of the fifth, Texas trailed 6-0. Ronald Guzman started the inning with a single to center field off of Hudson, before Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove him in with a double to left field, giving the Rangers their first run of the ball game. After a groundout from Choo, Willie Calhoun drove in Kiner-Falefa with a groundout for the second out. Hudson then walked Nomar Mazara, but ending the inning with a groundout from Joey Gallo, with the score 6-2 Cardinals after five complete innings.

After retiring the first two batters in the top of the sixth, Texas replaced Brett Martin with Kyle Dowdy on the mound, who walked the first two batters he saw. With runners at first and second with two outs, Marcell Ozuna drove in Goldschmidt with a single to center field, before Jose Martinez struck out looking to end the inning.

Both teams went without any more runs until the top of the ninth, when Paul DeJong hit a 2-1 pitch from Jeffrey Springs over the left field walk. St. Louis took Game 2 with an 8-2 win over the Rangers.

In the series finale in front of 32,112 base fans on Sunday, May 19, Drew Smyly started the game on the mound for Texas. Harrison Bader led off the game with a double to left field, before Smyly walked Paul Goldschmidt. Paul DeJong then put the Cardinals on the board with a two-run double to left field, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Trailing by two in the bottom of the first, Shin-Soo Choo led off with a home run to right field off of St. Louis' Jack Flaherty. 

The Cardinals kept their 2-1 lead until the bottom of the fourth, when Hunter Pence drove in Logan Forsythe with a double to left field. Both teams then went on a scoreless drought, before Andrew Miller gave up a lead off home run to right field to Texas' Danny Santana, to give the Rangers their field lead of the game, 3-2. However, with the game on the line, in the top of the ninth with one out, Dexter Fowler tied the game for St. Louis with a home run over the right field wall off of Texas' Chris Martin. 

St. Louis' Jordan Hicks retired the Rangers three-up, three-down in the bottom of the ninth, to send the game to extra innings. 

Leading off the top of the tenth, Harrison Bader hit a double to left field off of Jeanmar Gomez. After a Goldschmidt ground out, Paul DeJong gave the Cardinals the lead with a line out to left field, scoring Bader from third.

In the bottom of the tenth, trailing 4-3, the Rangers led off with a single and a walk, before Willie Calhoun tied the game for Texas with an RBI single to right field, putting runners at the corners. Carlos Martinez then relieved Hicks on the mound for St. Louis, and intentionally walked the first batter he faced, before striking out Logan Forsythe for the first out of the inning, with the bases loaded. Five pitches later, Nomar Mazara hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field, winning the game 5-4 for Texas, and giving the Rangers the 2-1 series win.

Since winning the 2011 World Series over Texas, the Cardinals are 1-8 against the Rangers.

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