Mitch Garver hit a third-inning grand slam and the Texas Rangers gained their fourth consecutive recreation to begin this postseason, pushing the Baltimore Orioles to the brink of elimination with an 11-8 victory in Recreation 2 of the AL Division Collection on Sunday.
The wild-card Rangers have outscored the Orioles and Tampa Bay — the highest two groups within the American League within the common season — by 25-11. Bruce Bochy moved inside one win of his first AL Championship Collection as a supervisor. He reached that spherical 4 occasions within the Nationwide League, successful three World Collection titles with San Francisco.
Gunnar Henderson and Aaron Hicks homered for the AL East champion Orioles, who have not been swept in a sequence of at the very least two video games since Might 2022. They’re now in peril of doing that at a most inopportune time.
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Hicks drove in 5 runs, together with a three-run shot with one out within the ninth that introduced the Orioles inside three runs for the primary time since earlier than Garver’s grand slam. However it was too little, too late.
Texas fell behind for the primary time this postseason when the Orioles scored two runs within the first, however the Rangers answered with 5 within the second to knock out rookie Grayson Rodriguez. Garver, a backup catcher who hadn’t performed but within the 2023 playoffs, hit his grand slam for a 9-2 lead.
Garver got here up once more with the bases loaded within the fifth however hit right into a double play. Even that introduced house one other run.
Garver was within the lineup as a result of it was “simply time to get him on the market” — to cite Bochy pregame. He hit .270 with 19 house runs in 87 video games this 12 months, and Bochy determined his energy and batting eye made him worthy of the No. 3 spot within the batting order.
The 68-year-old supervisor was rewarded for that transfer, and there have been loads of different contributors for the Rangers.
Corey Seager turned the primary participant to stroll 5 occasions in a postseason recreation and scored twice. Baltimore pitchers walked 11, their most in a recreation since 2019, and 6 of these runners scored.
Texas turned the primary crew in postseason historical past with seven hits and 7 walks by three innings, based on Sportradar. The Rangers completed the sport with 11 of every to go along with their 11 runs.
Hicks, who missed a key signal within the ninth inning of Recreation 1, poked a bases-loaded single to proper discipline within the first. However the backside of the Texas batting order barely gave the Camden Yards crowd time to really feel hopeful.
A stroll, a single and a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Leody Taveras tied the sport. Marcus Semien grounded out to the mound, with first baseman Ryan Mountcastle needing to make a diving snag of Rodriguez’s wild throw. After a stroll to Seager, Garver hit a dribbler in entrance of the plate that introduced house a run, and he beat it out when Rodriguez — maybe spooked by his poor toss earlier — lobbed the ball weakly to first.
Adolis García hit an RBI single up the center, and Jonah Heim added a run-scoring single one out later to make it 5-2 and chase Rodriguez.
Danny Coulombe bought out of the second for Baltimore, however Bryan Baker walked the bases loaded with one out within the third. Then Jacob Webb got here in and allowed his second homer of the sequence — the drive by Garver that carried previous the massive wall at Camden Yards that the Orioles pushed again earlier than the 2022 season.
Neither beginning pitcher made it by the fifth. Cody Bradford bought the win in reduction of Jordan Montgomery, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
Rodriguez took the loss. He was one in all baseball’s prime prospects in the beginning of the season and posted a 2.58 ERA after the All-Star break, however he allowed 5 runs, six hits and 4 walks Sunday.
Down 9-2, the Orioles chipped away a bit. They scored twice within the fourth on an RBI single by Jorge Mateo and a sacrifice fly by Mountcastle. Henderson’s solo homer within the fifth made it 10-5.
Mateo had 4 hits, together with two doubles.
Baltimore has misplaced seven straight postseason video games. The Orioles had been swept by Kansas Metropolis within the 2014 ALCS, then dropped a winner-take-all recreation at Toronto as a wild card in 2016.
In a throwback to the pre-pitch clock period, this nine-inning recreation took 3 hours, 45 minutes.
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Texas plans to begin Nathan Eovaldi for Recreation 3. Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde stated Baltimore will announce a pitcher Monday.
Tuesday evening would be the first house recreation for the Rangers since Sept. 24 and their first playoff recreation at Globe Life Discipline. The ballpark did host a lot of the 2020 postseason for different groups due to the coronavirus pandemic.