<
>

Jeff Francoeur hopes to be Game 3 spark

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Outfielder Jeff Francoeur is expected to get his first World Series start in Game 3 when his desperate Texas Rangers get back to the friendly confines Saturday to face San Francisco Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez.

"I'm looking forward to it. The thing is we’ve got to come out and play well," Francoeur said. "Obviously our backs are against the wall. You want to go home and obviously find a way to win all three, but at least two out of three to send this thing back, and then you never know what can happen."

Francoeur has started in right field and batted seventh against lefties throughout the playoffs. While he’s hit the ball well, he has just three hits and one RBI in 19 at-bats. He enters Game 3 batting just .158 with one extra-base hit, a double in his first at-bat off Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price in Game1 of the ALDS.

A career National Leaguer, Francoeur is no stranger to Sanchez and the Gaints' southpaw has won most of their battles. Francoeur is 2-for-14 lifetime against him with five strikeouts.

“I’ve seen Sanchez where he’s seven, eight innings, strikes out 12 guys. And I’ve also seen where he can be erratic,” Francoeur said. “So we obviously we know he’s got great stuff. He’s got three or four pitches he can throw. Hopefully we can get some runners on and put some pressure on him. That’s one thing that we haven’t done. The first two series we were so good at forcing peoples’ backs against the wall and they’ve [the Giants]had pretty much control of this series."

The Rangers will revert to their normal batting order in Game 3 as the World Series shifts to American League rules with the designated hitter. That allows Vladimir Guerrero to return as the DH in the cleanup spot, a distinct advantage, Francoeur said.

"We have one of the best in the league all season," Francoeur said. "They don't."