December 5, 2023


An All-Star in his first season with the Rangers, Eovaldi has received each their series-clinching video games this postseason.

Texas Rangers beginning pitcher Nathan Eovaldi celebrates after hanging out Baltimore Orioles’ Jordan Westburg within the seventh inning of Recreation 3 of a baseball AL Division Collection on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. Tony Gutierrez/AP Picture

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager continues to be going deep in Texas through the postseason. This time he’s doing it for the Rangers, who’re streaking by October.

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Seager and Adolis García homered early, Nathan Eovaldi pitched seven clean innings in one other playoff clincher and Texas accomplished an AL Division Collection sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 7-1 victory in Recreation 3 on Tuesday evening.

The Rangers, whose loss at Seattle on the final day of the common season made them a wild-card crew as an alternative of the AL West champion, have since received all 5 of their postseason video games. They’re headed to the American League Championship Collection for the primary time since 2011.

“We had our work lower out happening the street in opposition to Tampa and Baltimore. Simply reveals the toughness with this ballclub and the take care of having to fly to Tampa,” mentioned Texas supervisor Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Collection champion with San Francisco who’s now going to his first ALCS. “Belief me, they needed to win another sport within the worst manner. Didn’t occur. … They put it behind them.”

Baltimore received an AL-high 101 video games and was by no means swept in a sequence through the common season, however the shock AL East champions are achieved after a sweep on the most inopportune time. The Orioles have misplaced eight playoff video games in a row over the previous 10 seasons.

“Actually happy with our group. They defied all the percentages. No person gave us an opportunity,” Baltimore supervisor Brandon Hyde mentioned. “These guys performed their butts off for six months. We simply didn’t play properly for these final three, sadly.”

Seager pulled a 445-foot drive into the right-field seats within the first inning, and García’s three-run homer — one the All-Star slugger admired whereas taking just a few sluggish steps out of the batter’s field — made it 6-0 within the second to chase Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer, the Israeli-American pitcher making his first profession postseason begin.

“We’ve simply been taking part in good ball,” Seager mentioned. “Can’t say sufficient about what our pitching workers has been in a position to do.”

It was the primary Rangers playoff sport at Globe Life Discipline, the stadium that was model new in 2020 when it hosted a lot of MLB’s impartial postseason through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Los Angeles Dodgers spent most of that October there, and Seager was the MVP in each the NLCS and World Collection. A 12 months later, when Texas was coming off a 102-loss season, the shortstop signed a $325 million, 10-year take care of the Rangers — and he occupies the identical locker he did throughout that the majority uncommon postseason with restricted attendance.

With a full home for his first dwelling playoff sport with the Rangers, after that they had received the primary two ALDS video games in Baltimore following a Wild Card Collection sweep at Tampa Bay, Seager despatched the file sellout crowd of 40,861 right into a frenzy when he related in his first at-bat. He went deep seven instances for the Dodgers right here in 2020.

“That’s what he does. He’s achieved it earlier than within the massive moments,” mentioned Marcus Semien, the second baseman who signed with Texas for $175 million over seven years the identical week as Seager’s deal. “He picks his sport up within the playoffs. It’ll be actually enjoyable to see what he can do as we transfer on.”

Nathaniel Lowe additionally homered for Texas, a solo shot within the sixth. Lowe had led off the Rangers’ five-run second inning with a lineout to left, however that got here on the fifteenth pitch of the at-bat after fouling off 9 two-strike pitches.

“I noticed a crew that was actually motivated,” Bochy mentioned. “The offense, all people was doing one thing to contribute.”

Seager is one in all 5 Texas hitters who began for the AL squad on this 12 months’s All-Star Recreation. That’s fairly a lineup for Bochy, who was employed final offseason by Rangers common supervisor Chris Younger, one of many supervisor’s former pitchers in San Diego.

Additionally an All-Star in his first season with the Rangers, Eovaldi has received each their series-clinching video games this postseason. These are the right-hander’s longest and finest two begins since returning in September after lacking seven weeks due to a proper forearm pressure.

Eovaldi threw 76 of 98 pitches for strikes and not using a stroll whereas permitting just one run and hanging out seven. He was serenaded with chants of his title as he walked off the mound after the seventh — after which was prodded out of the dugout by García to tip his cap to the group. Eovaldi additionally received the Wild Card Collection clincher at Tampa Bay final Wednesday.

“I’ve by no means had a curtain name or something like that, however our followers have been bringing all of it evening lengthy,” he mentioned. “Once I walked out at 6:30 tonight, they have been chanting, the ‘Let’s go Rangers.’ I knew it was going to be a extremely good evening for us.”

José Leclerc received the ultimate 4 outs, the primary one with the bases loaded within the eighth when he induced an inning-ending groundout by pinch-hitter Aaron Hicks, who within the ninth inning of Recreation 2 had hit a three-run homer off him.

Leclerc pitched an ideal ninth, setting off celebratory fireworks contained in the ballpark when he struck out Jordan Westburg to finish the sport.

Kremer’s 1 2/3 innings marked his shortest outing all season. The 27-year-old wore a Star of David necklace as typical, with ideas of prolonged relations in Israel, the place warfare has been declared following a lethal incursion by militant group Hamas. His mom was on the sport.

Kremer was 13-5 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 regular-season begins that included Baltimore’s two clinching video games: Sept. 17 to safe a playoff spot, and 11 days later for the crew’s one hundredth win to clinch the AL East.

“Offensively, we weren’t at our greatest the final two, three weeks of the season. That carried into the postseason the place we had guys scuffling,” Hyde mentioned. “They rolled in with a ton of momentum. I don’t assume we rolled in with a ton of momentum offensively.”

Free move prices O’s

With runners at second and third and two outs within the second inning, the Orioles opted to deliberately stroll Seager. Mitch Garver, who hit a grand slam in Recreation 2, then hit a two-run double earlier than García homered to make it 6-0.

Seager additionally drew one other stroll within the fourth inning, making him the primary participant with 9 walks in a three-game postseason stretch. That’s another than Barry Bonds in San Francisco’s four-game NLDS loss to Florida in 2003.

Seager walked 5 instances in Recreation 2 in opposition to Baltimore, the primary participant in postseason historical past with 5 in a single sport.

Brief hops

Baltimore and Tampa Bay, the highest two groups within the American League through the common season, have been outscored 32-12 by the Rangers. … The retractable roof at Globe Life Discipline was closed, identical to for the final 57 regular-season video games since Might 21. At first pitch, it was cloudy and 78 levels exterior, however different elements come into play comparable to wind and humidity on whether or not to open the roof.

Up subsequent

Orioles: Spring coaching in Sarasota, Florida, earlier than the AL East champions open the common season March 28 at dwelling in opposition to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Rangers wait to see if they are going to be going to Houston or Minnesota for ALCS Recreation 1 on Sunday. The Astros have a 2-1 sequence lead going into Recreation 4 on Wednesday.