The MLB postseason belongs to Adolis Garcia.
The American League Championship Series MVP picked up right where he left off in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night, giving the Texas Rangers a victory in an instant classic.
After driving in a record 15 runs in the ALCS, he blasted a walk-off home run on Friday night to give the Rangers a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Garcia hit the homer shortly after the Diamondbacks brought in Miguel Castro from the bullpen – Garcia was the first batter Castro faced.
Garcia has now homered in five consecutive games, hitting six in that span – he had two in Game 7 of the ALCS.
The Rangers were down two runs in the ninth inning, but when Arizona closer Paul Sewald walked the nine-hitter, Corey Seager launched a two-run home run to tie the game.
With the first extra-innings game this postseason, the “Manfred Man” on second base is non-existent. Rangers closer Jose Leclerc tossed a 1-2-3 10th, and Kyle Nelson walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the inning. He then induced a double play, but allowed the next two guys to reach base, bringing Seager to the dish. But he grounded out on a 2-0 pitch to bring it to the 11th.
Leclerc again retired the side in order, and the second batter of the bottom half of the 11th in Garcia went deep.
The Rangers got on the board in the first, as rookie sensation Evan Carter doubled in the first run of the World Series. The next batter in Adolis Garcia followed with an RBI single. But the snakes answered back in the third with a two-run triple by likely NL Rookie of the Year in Corbin Carroll. Ketel Marte then drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to give them the lead. In the bottom half, the Rangers drew a walk with the bases loaded to tie it right up. It was the first runs Sewald had allowed all postseason.
Tommy Pham belted a solo home run to put the D-Backs back on top in the fourth, and in the fifth, Marte tied an MLB record by extending his postseason hitting streak to 17 straight games with an RBI double. He joined Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter, and Hank Bauer as the only players in MLB history to have a hit in 17 consecutive postseason contests.
That was the last run of the game until Seager’s ninth inning heroics.
Garcia had three hits on the night – he’s hitting .357 with a 1.204 OPS this postseason. He now has 22 RBI this postseason, an MLB record.
It was the first walk-off home run in the World Series since Max Muncy did so for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the 2018 Fall Classic. Ironically, Nathan Eovaldi, the Rangers’ starter on Friday, allowed that homer.
Eovaldi’s night was finished after 4.2 innings – it was his shortest outing of the postseason, as he allowed five earned. But the Rangers bullpen, which has been suspect all season, hunkered down. Dane Dunning, Cody Bradford, Jon Gray, Will Smith, and Leclerc combined for 6.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Jordan Montgomery will look to keep up his hot pitching when he toes the rubber for the Rangers in Game 2 on Saturday night. Merrill Kelly will start for Arizona. It figures to be a pitching duel, as Kelly’s ERA this postseason is 2.65, while Montgomery has pitched to a 2.16 number.