The Texas Rangers have forced a decisive Game 7 in the ALCS after a dominant 9-2 win in Game 6 on Sunday. The victory was propelled by outstanding pitching from Nathan Eovaldi and clutch hitting from the middle of the lineup.
Game 7 is set to take place in Houston on Monday.
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Interestingly, the home team has yet to secure a victory in this series.
The Houston Astros initially took the lead in the first inning of Game 6, scoring a run through singles and a walk. However, Nathan Eovaldi shut them down for the rest of the game, allowing only two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Eovaldi now boasts a perfect 4-0 record in this postseason.
Heading into the eighth inning, the Rangers held a 4-2 advantage over the Astros, with Mitch Garver playing a significant role (more on that below). In the ninth inning, the Rangers widened the gap with a combination of a walk, fielding error, single, and hit by pitch, resulting in a 5-2 scoreline before a single out was recorded. Adolis García then unleashed all of the team’s pent-up frustration from the previous three games with a colossal grand slam, ensuring a Game 7.
In a closely contested game, Mitch Garver had a major impact on the Rangers’ first four runs of the night.
Garver set the tone in the second inning with a homer that prevented the Astros from gaining momentum. In the fourth, he singled with two outs and subsequently scored on Jonah Heim’s home run, giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead. In the eighth, Garver doubled in Evan Carter to extend the Rangers’ lead to 4-2.
After his blown save in Game 5, José Leclerc was tasked with securing as many as five outs in Game 6. He entered the game with two runners on base, one out, and the Rangers leading 4-2 in the eighth inning.
Leclerc faced a critical situation when he walked Alex Bregman, loading the bases and putting the go-ahead run on first base. However, he extinguished the threat by inducing a lineout from Mauricio Dubón and striking out Jon Singleton. The game moved on to the ninth inning.
The five-run offensive surge by the Rangers in the following half-inning made Leclerc’s night less demanding than anticipated, but his ability to neutralize the Astros in the eighth inning proved pivotal to the team’s victory.
Game 7 is scheduled to begin at 8:03 p.m. ET on Monday. Max Scherzer is expected to take the mound for the Rangers, while the hosting Astros will rely on Cristian Javier as their starting pitcher.
The winner of Game 7 will advance to the World Series, while the loser will mark the end of their season.
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