ARLINGTON -- While no Rangers player would claim to have had a good night at the ballpark in Saturday's 16-7 dismantling at the hands of the Cardinals, Ian Kinsler's was especially rough around the edges. The second baseman Kinsler, who is normally one of the surest fielders in the game, booted a grounder by Ryan Theriot in the third inning, one of three Texas errors in the game. That, however, is not the gaffe that will be most replayed -- it will be Kinsler's throw in the second leg of an attempted double play that pulled first baseman Mike Napoli off the base in the fourth inning.
Napoli had to jump off the bag to reel in the throw, but still was able to gather it and tag Matt Holliday as he ran through the base. Even though replays showed Holliday was out, first-base umpire Ron Kulpa ruled Holliday safe. "There's a lot of things that happened tonight, a lot of things to point at," Kinsler said. "The game wasn't based just on that call. The game isn't played in slow motion. It's not easy to make those calls, especially when the guy has got to watch the guy coming off the base, the guy tagging, stepping on the base, all happening quickly." Kulpa admitted after the game that the tag was applied before Holliday hit the bag. "He missed the play, and I knew he missed the play when I went out there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We still had an opportunity to get off that field with maybe them just pushing one run across the plate. We just didn't make plays." The Cardinals took full advantage and scored four runs in the inning. "You can go through a lot of different things in this game," Kinsler said. "We hit with guys in scoring position constantly, and Nap got thrown out at the plate. Unfortunate things happen. That wasn't the turning point. You just stick with it." In the Rangers' half of the fourth, Kinsler, Napoli and Holliday took part in another double-play opportunity that turned out in the Cardinals favor. Kinsler flied out to left, and Holliday threw out Napoli, who tried to score on the play. "That was the play," Napoli said. "Kins hit a ball fairly deep -- deep enough to score. He made a perfect throw. You try to put pressure on the defense so they make bad throws, but he made a perfect throw." An inning later, Kinsler left the bases loaded in the fifth inning when he popped up Lance Lynn's 2-2 fastball. "It was a ball, I think," Kinsler said. "That was a tough at-bat. It was high." Kinsler had carried a six-game hitting streak into Game 3, including three straight with multiple hits. If his team is going to come back from its 2-1 World Series deficit, the Rangers will need Kinsler to be the spark plug he has been so far in the playoffs. "We didn't play very good; that's basically it," Kinsler said. "It's over with, we're getting ready for tomorrow right now."
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.