ST LOUIS, UNITED STATES // St Louis reliever Jason Motte offered no excuses for his late-game performance that allowed the Texas Rangers to even the World Series at 1-1.
"It stinks," the Cardinals reliever said softly.
Motte has been stellar during the postseason but yesterday yielded a pair of ninth-inning singles to the only two batters he faced and the hits opened the door for the Rangers.
Both runners ultimately scored, giving Texas an improbable 2-1 win that squared the best-of-seven affair and foiled what had been a raucous party at sold-out Busch Stadium.
"That's the way this game is," said Motte. "You're going to have good days, bad days. You have to learn from what you did on the bad days and come out the next day and get 'em.
"I know this team we have. We'll be back. It's not like the first time we've lost a ball game."
Motte entered the game three outs away from giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in their quest for an 11th World Series title. During the 2011 postseason, the right-hander had pitched nine scoreless innings while surrendering only one hit.
The Rangers' Ian Kinsler opened the inning with a bloop single to left just beyond shortstop Rafael Furcal.
With Elvis Andrus at the plate, Kinsler stole second on a bang-bang play. Andrus then slapped a single to centre and while Kinsler stopped at third, Andrus raced to second on the throw home by centerfielder Jon Jay.
First baseman Albert Pujols was given an error for not cutting the ball off and keeping Andrus from reaching second.
Kinsler and Andrus eventually scored on sacrifice flies, saddling Motte with the loss.
"I made a good pitch to Kinsler and he did a good piece of hitting," offered Motte. "He got enough on it to get out of the reach of Furcal.
"The next one, I threw another cutter and it just wasn't a good pitch. It didn't move, stayed in the middle. He drove the ball and the next thing I knew they were on second and third."
Motte was then followed to the mound by relievers Arthur Rhodes and Lance Lynn who allowed fly balls to Josh Hamilton and Michael Young that brought the base runners home.
"It's one of those things," said Motte. "But you've got to be ready to go the next time the phone rings."
Kinsler was elated not only because the Rangers won but how they did it.
"It wasn't a series saving rally, but it was huge," he said. "All these games are very big. I mean, it's the World Series, last two teams, every victory is huge.
"To be able to come from behind against a guy like that on the mound, you know, it was a big win for us."
The series now heads to suburban Dallas for the next three games. Motte insists he will be ready for Game Three but the sting of yesterday's loss was obvious.
"I blame myself," he said. "I went out there and I didn't make my pitches. I had a job to do and I didn't do it."