Saturday, October 22, 2005

NLDS Recap: Game 3

Though the location changed, the results did not; as the California Terrapins pounded the Pike Rangers 7-2 to take a three games to none lead in their best of seven series. Rangers’ starter, T.J. Tucker was victimized by a first inning two run home run by Albert Pujols. The Ranger fought back in the top of the third with consecutive singles by lead off hitter A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Randa leading up to an Alex Gonzalez sacrifice fly to cut the Terrapins lead to 2-1, but could not do further damage in the inning.

The Terrapins came right back in the bottom of the third, with Ryan Freel, who had been hit by a pitch and advanced to third by Mark Kotsay’s single, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly by John Mabry to take a 3-1 lead. The Rangers cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Kit Pellow. The Terrapins answered in the bottom of the fourth with another single run scoring with two outs on a single by Yadier Molina and a double by Royce Clayton, to make it a 4-2 ballgame.

The Terrapins tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth with the help of a Rangers error. With two out, shortstop Alex Gonzalez booted a ball by Adam Dunn. Mabry’s single moved Dunn to second and Mike Lowell’s double brought home Dunn and upped the Terrapins lead to 5-3.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the sixth with only one out, but could not manage to push across a run as pitch hitter Aubrey Huff lined out and Pierzynski grounded out to end the threat. In the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the Rangers had a runner in scoring position, but the Terrapins relief combination of Travis Harper and Amaury Telemaco shut the door.

The last runs of the evening came in the bottom of the eighth when pitch hitter Jayson Werth followed Lowell’s lead off single with a deep homer to left off Rangers reliever Guillermo Mota.

Terrapins pitching gave up seven hits and issued six walks, but the Rangers could not take advantage as they stranded ten base runners. “We certainly had opportunities, but we did not execute on offense” said Ranger general manager Tom Carusillo after the game. He added, “We had too many line drives that found defenders instead of grass.”

The Terrapins looked to wrap up the series in four straight when the teams meet again tomorrow evening.

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