The Texas Rangers won two games in enemy territory.
Texas won 5-4 in Game 2 of the Championship Series against the Houston Astros held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA on the 17th (Korean time).
With this victory, they achieved two consecutive wins in enemy territory and took the lead in the series with two wins. In a 7-game Major League postseason series, the team that leads by 2 wins has a series win rate of 84.2% (75/89), and when looking at the championship series alone, it reaches 88.6% (31/35).
Texas also went on a seven-game winning streak starting in this postseason wild card series. Since 1995, the wild card era, the teams that have recorded more than 7 consecutive wins with the start of the postseason include the Colorado Rockies in 2007, the Kansas City Royals in 2014, the Atlanta Braves in 2020, and Houston in 2022. Among them, Houston was the only one to win the World Series in 2022.
It was important to score a large number of goals in the early stages. In the first inning alone, the batting line went around once and scored 4 runs against opposing starting pitcher Framber Valdez.
Following back-to-back hits by Marcus Simien and Corey Seager, Valdez failed to properly handle Robbie Grossman’s missed ball, and even made a bad throw to score the first run. Then, hits by Adolis Garcia, Mitch Garber, and Josh Young added to the score.
In the third inning, Jonah Haim added a score by crossing the left field wall.
Houston starter Valdes faced the Texas lineup for two rounds and left the mound after giving up 7 hits, 1 home run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, and 5 runs (4 earned) in 2 2/3 innings.
Texas failed to score again after that. I wasn’t so lucky. Seager’s batted ball in the fourth inning was caught by center fielder Chaz McCormick. In the 6th inning, Leody Taveras made a triple with a ball to right-center, but Simien’s well-hit ball went directly in front of the third baseman and became a double play.
Meanwhile, Houston was chasing. Yordan Alvarez scored in the second inning and Alex Bregman scored in the fourth. In the 6th inning, with 2 outs and runners on first base, Michael Brantley brought in a runner on first base with a double to left center.
Nevertheless, Texas starter Nathan Evoldi held up well. He maintained the team’s lead by pitching 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 home runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, and 3 runs.
Overcoming the crisis in the 5th inning was decisive. After allowing back-to-back hits to Brantley and McCormick, third baseman Young was unable to properly hit the bounce of Jeremy Peña’s ground ball, leading to a crisis of bases loaded with no outs.
Manager Dusty Baker, who had spared a pinch hit when Martin Maldonado was at bat in the 4th inning the previous day, gave the game a boost this time by pinch hitting Yanier Diaz while Maldonado was at bat.
In response, Evoldi struck out Diaz on a swing, struck out Jose Altuve on a swing, and caught Bregman with a ground ball to third base, allowing no runs.
Houston’s pursuit continued in the second half of the game. In the 8th inning, Alvarez narrowed the gap to 5-4 with a solo home run over the right field wall against Aroldis Chapman.
According to Major League Baseball, Alvarez became the sixth player in postseason history to have two wins in a single postseason, following Willie Aikens (1980), Troy Glaus (2002), Jason Worth (2009), Chase Utley (2009) and Nick Castellanos (2023). The player who hit multiple home runs in turn gave it.
Manager Bruce Bochy chose the winning move of entrusting closer Jose Leclerc with a 4-out save.
Leclerc was anxious. 안전놀이터He threw too many balls and allowed two batters to walk in a row, causing a crisis. He barely got control of his pitch and induced a ground ball to third base against McCormick. Third baseman Young fumbled the ball once, but caught it with a juggle and ended the inning with a runner on third base.
LeCluck ended the game in the 9th inning, showing a more stable performance. The batted ball by Peña and Altuve was caught in the outfielder’s glove in front of the fence, and Diaz’s batted ball was caught and out as third baseman Young fell.