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Rangers’ best pitcher, bats fizzle

November 2, 2010

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— Everything that carried the Texas Rangers into the World Series fizzled against the San Francisco Giants.

The best pitcher. The big bats.

Nothing seemed to work when it mattered most.

Ace left-hander Cliff Lee lost again, and the Rangers’ bats remained silent in a 3-1 loss in Game 5 on Monday night that gave the title to the Giants.

“The guys are a little down,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “They beat us soundly. They played better baseball than we did.”

Lee, the prized midseason acquisition Texas got to win games like this, was definitely better than in the Series opener, when he had his worst postseason outing ever. Still, it wasn’t good enough to beat Tim Lincecum.

But no matter how well the free-agent-to-be might have pitched in maybe his last start for Texas, Lee got no help from a potent lineup that went from slugging to slumping in the Rangers’ first World Series.

“You’ve got to tip your cap to Lincecum. He pitched an unbelievable game. They outpitched us the whole series,” Lee said. “Against this lineup, that’s highly impressive what they did with the ball. A lot of credit goes to their pitching and defense. It was outstanding, and they flat-out beat us.”

Texas had gone 18 innings — the equivalent of two full games — without scoring until Nelson Cruz homered in the seventh against Lincecum. That was after Lee, who struck out six and walked none in seven innings, had thrown his last pitch.

Edgar Renteria, the Giants’ No. 8 hitter and World Series MVP, hit a three-run homer in the seventh.

The Rangers were shut out twice by San Francisco. The last team held scoreless twice in a World Series was the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers, who failed to score in the last three games while being swept by Baltimore.

Texas, which led the majors with a .276 batting average in the regular season, hit a meager .190 with only 12 runs in the World Series.

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