|The Rangers dug themselves into a deep hole as their relievers unravelled in an ugly eighth inning [Reuters]
The Texas Rangers vowed to make the best use of home turf advantage after being humiliated by the San Francisco Giants in Game Two on Thursday to fall 2-0 behind in the best-of-seven World Series.
The Rangers dug themselves into a deep hole as their relievers unravelled in an ugly eighth inning that yielded seven runs, leaving a sombre mood in their locker room as jubilant Giants fans chanted: "Sweep, sweep, sweep".
The series now shifts to Texas for the next three games, where third baseman Michael Young promised a Rangers revival.
"There's no need for us to change anything," Young told reporters after the Giants won Game Two by a crushing 9-0 margin. "We just need to produce different results.
"We'll keep the same mentality and play our best baseball heading back home to Texas. This team is the most mentally tough group I've ever been around."
Young was one of the more upbeat figures in a subdued Rangers locker room and he paid tribute to the superb pitching of starter Matt Cain, who held Texas in check on four hits in 7-2/3 shutout innings.
"You tip your hat when necessary," Young said. "He did really well and got ahead in the count. We're a good offense. We expect to score no matter what."
Rangers manager Ron Washington also strived to strike a positive tone ahead of Saturday's Game Three in Arlington.
"Just as they won two games here in San Francisco, we can get back to Texas and do the same thing," Washington said. "We expect to do that. The clubhouse is still upbeat. We're still confident that we can get it done."
A tight 2-0 contest changed dramatically in the eighth inning after Washington brought left handed reliever Derek Holland into the game with two out and a runner on first.
Holland walked three batters in a row, one on four pitches, to allow one run before giving way to Mark Lowe, who walked Juan Uribe to let in another.
"I just lost control of my fastball from the bullpen to when I came in," an ashen-faced Holland said. "It was just one of those times when it happens. I'm sure it's not going to happen again, that's for sure.
"I was just going in different directions. It was cutting, sinking. I just kind of lost the feel for it."
Lowe was virtually monosyllabic as he spoke to a few reporters in the far corner of the Rangers clubhouse.
"Physically I feel great, mentally I feel great," he said. "I just need the ball to bounce my way, and our way."
Asked to assess the team's mood after their humiliating loss at AT&T Park on Thursday, he replied: "You can see it. We're pretty down but we'll bounce back and be ready to go."