Home » Houston Astros Fall to Texas Rangers, 11-4, as Road Team Runs the Table in ALCS
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Houston Astros Fall to Texas Rangers, 11-4, as Road Team Runs the Table in ALCS

The 2023 American League Championship Series offered baseball fans drama, animosity, rallies, clutch hits, and clutch pitching for both sides.

But in the end, the first-ever Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers postseason series closed with a heartbreaking rout for the home team and a 7-0 record for the road club.

Javier crushed right off the bat Cristian Javier entered Monday night 4-0 in career postseason starts but has never started in a home playoff game.

With the season on the line, Javier tried to settle into his start, inducing a groundout to Marcus Semien for the first out, but the Dominican right-hander got rocked in the next at-bat – a Corey Seager home run launched 440 feet to the 200-level seats in the outfield.

Rangers struck first, 1-0.

After Evan Carter walked and stole second, Adolis Garcia sent a fly ball to the out-of-town scoreboard in left field to drive a run in and extend the lead, 2-0.

Garcia then stole second before Mitch Garver drove him home, for the quick 3-0 lead. Javier then delivered to Jonah Heim, who hit a single to left and essentially chased the Game 7 starter out. Garcia’s night lasted one-third of the first inning, allowing four hits and three runs on 23 pitches.

Phil Maton entered in relief to strike out Nathaniel Lowe and Josh Jung. Astros counter-punch, but damage limited Texas’ own Game 7 starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, carried questions about his effectiveness after returning from injury. And right off the bat for the ‘Stros, it appeared Houston was about to exploit the multi-time Cy Young Award winner.

Jose Altuve hit a lead-off double to the scoreboard in left, before Yordan Alvarez walked two batters later. Jose Abreu then hit an RBI single down the left field line to bring home Altuve to cut into the lead, 2-1. The threat was over in an instant, though, when Michael Brantley grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Rangers homer again

Both sides were scoreless in the second inning, despite the Astros and Rangers having a runner in scoring position.

The third inning, though, opened with an Adolis Garcia home run to deep right field off Hunter Brown, who entered in the second inning.

The Astros got back to a three-run deficit, 4-1. Breggy Bomb sets off Astros in the third inning

Scherzer wasn’t too far behind Javier, following him out of the game. After an Altuve groundout, Alex Bregman launched a bomb in the third inning, hitting the wall in left centerfield that’s counted as a home run. Houston got back the run, still trailing, 4-2.

Yordan Alvarez sent a flyball off the scoreboard in left field for a triple but failed to make it home after back-to-back putouts to end the inning.

Knockout blow? Astros yield a four-run fourth

JP France, a rookie starting pitcher, entered the game in relief in the fourth inning, and despite the encouraging third inning on offense, the Astros may have hit the canvas.

The Rangers allowed a single to Yung, a walk to Semien, and a hit to Seager to load the bases. Evan Carter then doubled in two runs, followed by Garcia driving in two more scores to extend the lead 8-2. France got the hook after giving up his fifth hit of the inning – a Heim single.

Rangers cross double-digit runs

For all the runs they gave up, the Astros couldn’t put together scores, even with Texas’ Game 5 starting pitcher, Jordan Montgomery, entering in a rare relief appearance.

Montgomery snuffed out threats in the fourth and fifth innings, when Houston had some traffic on the bases. Meanwhile, Neris finished the fourth inning for France and retired the Rangers in the fifth.

That gave way to Bryan Abreu, who was eligible to pitch in Game 7 after an appeal ruling for his two-game suspension. In the seventh inning, Abreu faced Adolis Garcia, who popped out, and hit Mitch Garver with a pitch to the ribcage.

But with one out from ending the half-inning, Abreu was rocked by a Nathaniel Lowe home run to score two Rangers runs. This homer was nearly identical to the one hit in Game 6 when the ball sailed just out of Kyle Tucker’s grasp. Houston’s deficit sat at eight runs, 10-2.

Houston got a run back in the bottom half of the seventh when Alvarez hit an RBI to drive in Alex Bregman. The lead was 10-3.

And just as fast as those two lines above were written, the Rangers struck back when Garcia took Jose Urquidy, pitching in relief, to the Crawford Boxes. Texas now up, 11-3.

Houston went scoreless in the eighth inning before Jose Altuve provided a parting gift for the season – a home run in the ninth inning off Jose LeClerc. That trimmed the lead 11-4.

Altuve’s round-tripper put him two shy of the all-time postseason home runs lead held by Manny Ramirez. No. 27 sits at 27 homers.

Houston’s final baserunners were Alex Bregman and Jose Abreu, who walked and singled, respectively. The final batter of the season was Kyle Tucker, who hit into a groundout to Marcus Semien to end the game.

Source: ABC13