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Rangers 1 win away from 1st World Series title in franchise history

Texas beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-7 Tuesday night to move ahead three games to one in the World Series.
Rangers 1 win away from 1st World Series title in franchise history
Posted at 6:16 AM, Nov 01, 2023

Rangers batters not only bonded, they whipped through the Arizona Diamondbacks like a desert storm.

Marcus Semien’s two-run triple and three-run homer powered Texas to a 10-run lead by the third inning, Corey Seager hit another long home run and the Rangers won 11-7 to move ahead three games to one in the World Series.

Texas improved to a record 10-0 on the road this postseason and closed within one win of the first title in the 63-season history of a franchise that started as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961.

Nathan Eovaldi tries to clinch the third all-wild card Series on Wednesday night against Zac Gallen in a rematch of Game 1 starters.

“We’ve got our top guy on the mound now,” Semien said. “He’s a guy who’s been waiting for this moment the entire year.”

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Forty-two of 49 previous teams to take 3-1 leads have gone on to win the World Series. The most recent club to overcome a 3-1 deficit was the Chicago Cubs against Cleveland in 2016.

Rangers batters built a 10-0 cushion by becoming the first team in Series history with consecutive five-run innings. Seager’s third two-run homer of the Series capped the second, Semien’s drive punctuated the third and Jonah Heim added an eighth-inning shot.

Texas scored its first 10 runs with two outs, battering an Arizona staff that needed four pitchers to get its first eight outs. Miguel Castro's wild pitch brought home the first run, and an error by Gold Glove first baseman Christian Walker — the first by either team in the Series — led to five unearned runs in the third.

“This was nothing that we saw coming," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It all came unraveled on us there in a matter of two innings.”

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Seager and Semien, All-Star middle infielders signed as free agents for $500 million combined before the 2022 season, have six RBIs each in the Series. Seager, the first shortstop with three Series homers, has four long balls in his last five games dating to the AL Championship Series. After leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 2020 title, he could join Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson as the only two-time World Series MVPs.

Jankowski, replacing García in right field, singled in the second and hit a two-run double in the third in his first Series at-bats.

“I was locked in last night waiting, preparing to start. I didn’t get the official news until 2 o’clock today,” Jankowski said. “Shoot, I’ve been ready to go 15 years ago.”

Andrew Heaney, a 32-year-old lefty with his fifth big league team, earned the win by allowing four hits in five innings. Six relievers followed, with closer José Leclerc getting the final out.

“We had a 10-run lead. It’s a lot easier to go out there, attack the strike zone and not feel so confined to having to make perfect pitches,” Heaney said.

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