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Rangers' first goal: Get back into Series

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis during a

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis during a news conference ahead of Saturday's Game 3 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants in Texas. (Oct. 29, 2010) Credit: MCT

ARLINGTON, Texas - Colby Lewis, the pitcher facing much of the responsibility of keeping the Rangers in this World Series, was succinct.

"There's really no room for error," he said Friday afternoon.

The Rangers, returning to the stadium where Lewis and his teammates closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS Oct. 22, face a tougher task than they did that night.

After 11-7 and 9-0 losses, they trail the Giants two games to none in the World Series and haven't looked particularly good at the plate, on the mound or in the field.

Rangers righthander Lewis, 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three postseason starts - both wins came against the Yankees - faces Giants lefthander Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 2.93) in Game 3.

"It's frustrating to lose two, but the most frustrating part is that we're in the World Series and we really haven't played our best baseball yet," outfielder David Murphy said. "That's the key to focus on for Game 3, just to play our best baseball and see what happens."

Rangers manager Ron Washington, under fire for his bullpen management in Game 2 - specifically during the seven-run eighth inning that blew open a 2-0 game for the Giants - didn't steer away from calling Saturday night a must-win.

"It is a must-win," he said. "We certainly don't want to go down 3-0. But I don't think you can go into the game thinking it's a must-win. If you go into it talking about a must-win, then you're going to miss a lot that's happening on that field, and we can't afford to miss anything."

Insert punch line here regarding his team's play during the first two games.

The Rangers, who hit .304 with a .378 on-base percentage against the Yankees, are hitting .227 with a .293 OBP in the World Series. That, in large part, has to do with Matt Cain's dominance in Game 2. He pitched 72/3 scoreless innings and has not allowed an earned run in 211/3 innings this postseason.

But the Rangers, who beat the Yankees in the ALCS despite a devastating Game 1 loss, don't see the task as insurmountable. They see no reason they can't become the first team since the 1996 Yankees to lose the first two games of the World Series and still win the title. "We're confident with this lineup we have that we can win four of these next five games," Jeff Francoeur said. "I feel very confident you'll see us come out and play good baseball and get a win."

"Two wins doesn't get you anything," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's the only way to approach it. We're playing a very good team, we have plenty of baseball left and we have to keep our focus."

Extra basesRHP Tommy Hunter (0-1, 6.44) is listed as the Rangers' Game 4 starter, but Washington didn't go out of his way to rule out using Cliff Lee on three days' rest. "The only thing I'm thinking about is Colby," Washington said. "I can't answer that." . . . Rangers LHP C.J. Wilson, who left Game 2 with a blister on his left middle finger, said blisters have been a problem all season and that he will be able to prepare normally for a potential Game 6 start.


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