The Texas Rangers offence that suffered a meltdown in game one of the World Series redeemed itself one night later with a stunning ninth-inning rally highlighted by two clutch sacrifice flies.
Closing pitcher Neftali Felix posted his fifth save of the post-season and batters Josh Hamilton and Michael Young drove in the game tying and game winning runs as the Rangers became the first team to trail entering their final at-bat and win a World Series game since Arizona a decade ago.
"Hamilton comes up and gets a sacrifice fly and Michael (Young) fights for his at-bat and gets another sac fly and then we bring in (pitcher Neftali) Feliz and he gets us three outs and here we are with a win," said Rangers manager Ron Washington.
The 107th World Series now shifts from cold, damp St. Louis to the lone star state of Texas for games three, four and five.
The Rangers have a chance to take a 2-1 lead with a win at home on Saturday. The team that wins game three of a 1-1 series has gone on to win 10 of the last 11 World Series.
"We are just happy the series is tied up and we are going home," said Rangers Ian Kinsler, who went two-for-three at the plate in game two and has hit safely in six consecutive post-season games.
The Rangers plan to start left-hander Matt Harrison in game three and the Cardinals will counter with right-hander Kyle Lohse. Game four will see Texas left-hander Derek Holland battle St. Louis ace Edwin Jackson.
Texas appeared to be headed to their second consecutive defeat in the World Series before their shocking rally in the ninth in game two in front of a sold-out crowd of 47,288 at Busch Stadium.
But Texas still trailed 1-0 heading into the final inning thanks to Cardinals Allen Craig's pinch hit RBI single in the seventh. It was Craig's second consecutive pinch hit RBI single against Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando in as many nights and the third straight at-bat he has delivered a hit.
"It is a weird game, we all understand that but at the same time we are going to fight to the last out," said Kinsler.
Pitching wasn't supposed to be the dominant factor in this World Series for either the Rangers or Cardinals who built their post-season reputations on explosive offences and home runs.
The two teams have combined for just eight runs in the first two games of the championship series thanks to some superb starting pitching and stubborn bullpens.
Cardinals Jaime Garcia tossed seven scoreless innings in game two and Rangers Lewis became the first Texas pitcher to throw at least six innings this post season.
"We did a lot to get the lead but Jaime was outstanding," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
Washington expects more fireworks in the three games in Dallas.
"Those of you that have bad hearts, watch yourself," he warned.
Source: AFP Global Edition