World Series Game 7 lineups: Rangers vs. Cardinals

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Here are the lineups for Game 7 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:

   TEXAS RANGERS             ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B         1. Ryan Theriot, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS        2. Allen Craig, LF
3. Josh Hamilton, CF       3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Michael Young, 1B       4. Lance Berkman, RF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B       5. David Freese, 3B
6. Nelson Cruz, RF         6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Mike Napoli, C          7. Rafael Furcal, SS
8. David Murphy, LF        8. Skip Schumaker, CF

SP Matt Harrison, LHP      SP Chris Carpenter, RHP

Nelson Cruz (groin) and Mike Napoli (ankle) are both playing tonight despite getting hurt in Game 6, so Ron Washington is able to go with his standard lineup versus a right-hander pitcher. That means David Murphy in left field and Craig Gentry on the bench, so with a banged-up Hamilton in center field and a banged-up Cruz in right field the Cardinals may be shooting some gaps with fly balls.

Tony La Russa, on the other hand, is shaking things up considerably. For the first time all postseason Rafael Furcal is not in the leadoff spot, as La Russa has dropped the struggling shortstop to seventh. Replacing him atop the lineup is Ryan Theriot, who starts over Nick Punto at second base. Skip Schumaker is making his second straight start in center fielder over Jon Jay. And with Matt Holliday removed from the roster due last night’s wrist injury Allen Craig is starting in left field. Holliday would have hit cleanup, but instead Craig is in his usual No. 2 spot with Lance Berkman cleaning up.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.