The Texas Rangers completed their comeback in the ALCS, routing the Houston Astros 11-4 in Game 7 to punch their ticket to the 2023 World Series.
It was an onslaught of offensive firepower for the Rangers, and it started immediately in this game. The Astros went with an all-hands-on-deck approach from a pitching standpoint, with reliever Phil Maton getting the start.
Rangers All-Star Corey Seager took Maton deep to right center field, a 440-foot shot that put Texas on the board with a solo home run. And that was just the beginning for an inning that saw Adolis Garcia single home a run and Mitch Garver do the same to score Garcia, making it 3-0 from the jump.
The Astros were able to bounce back with an RBI single off the bat of Jose Abreu to get Jose Altuve across the play to cut the lead to two for the Rangers, but Garcia once again had a flare for the long ball when he took Hunter Brown deep in the top of the third inning, going to the opposite field to make it 4-1.
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman would deliver a solo homer of his own to make it 4-2 in the bottom frame, but it was all Texas after that.
With Hector Neris on the mound for Houston, the Rangers Evan Carter delivered a bases-loaded double, scoring Josh Jung and Marcus Semien to start pulling away from the Astros. Garcia’s big night continued with a single that also scored Seager and Carter, making it a six-run lead at 8-2 in a must-win matchup.
And the Rangers weren’t done. Nathaniel Lowe joined the scoring party in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run homer to right field, bringing this game at Minute Maid Park to blowout territory.
Just for good measure, Garcia hit a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning for his fifth RBI on the night and his 14th for the series, setting an MLB record.
Yordan Alvarez added a single before Garcia’s bomb, so the score was 11-3 going into the bottom of the ninth for Houston. Altuve was able to homer off Jose LeClerc to begin the frame, but LeClerc collected the final three outs – starting the celebration in Houston that the home crowd hoped they wouldn’t watch at the end of the night.
This is the first time since 2011 that the Rangers reached the World Series, but the organization is still searching for its first title. They won the AL pennant in 2010 and 2011, but lost to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively, in the final series of the season.
Who the Rangers will face in the 2023 World Series is still up for question, as the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks will be playing Game 7 of the NLCS on Tuesday after the latter came away with the victory in Game 6 Monday night.