ST. LOUIS -- Josh Hamilton reclaimed his status as The Man for the Texas Rangers on Thursday night, seemingly delivering the decisive, dramatic hit that saved Game 6 of the World Series for his team.
Of course, somebody forgot to tell the St. Louis Cardinals about this script.
As the baseball world knows by now, the Cardinals rallied from two-run deficits in the ninth and 10th innings of Game 6 and outlasted Texas, 10-9 in 11 innings, to force Friday's Game 7. But for a while, Hamilton's two-run homer in the 10th, which put Texas ahead 9-7, appeared to gift-wrap the Fall Classic for the Rangers.
Hamilton, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, has been bothered by a left groin injury and recently speculated that he might have a sports hernia. But he matched his hit total for this Series by going 3-for-6. That lifted his Series average from .158 to .240 (6-for-25).
His homer, which he drove to right-center field off Jason Motte, ended a postseason-long streak of 65 at-bats without a long ball.
"It's about time," Hamilton said. "But you have to finish the game out. We didn't get it done tonight."
Hamilton absorbed the defeat in this epic game with a stoic attitude.
"I'm not going to lose any sleep over it tonight," he said. "I'm going to do everything I can do to prepare. Guys were already talking about it right after the game. It's not easy, but we have to shake it off and come back tomorrow. ... It's the last game and it's going to be pretty good."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.