Adolis Garcia powers Rangers past Astros in ALCS Game 7

Oct 23, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a home run during the third inning of game seven in the ALCS against the Houston Astros for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Adolis Garcia homered twice, going deep for a fourth consecutive game, and paced an unrelenting, 15-hit barrage that spearheaded the Texas Rangers to an 11-4 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Monday.

The Rangers claimed the best-of-seven series 4-3 and advanced to the World Series for the third time in franchise history and the first time since 2011.

Game 1 of the Fall Classic will be played Friday in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers will host the winner of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, set to be played Tuesday by the host Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Texas improved to 8-0 on the road this postseason by winning all four games at Minute Maid Park in completing just the second series in postseason history where the road team claimed every contest. The Astros were on the losing end of the first occurrence when they dropped Game 7 of the 2019 World Series at home against the Washington Nationals.

Garcia finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs. He clubbed his fourth homer of the series and sixth of the postseason leading off the third inning, an opposite-field shot down the right field line off Astros rookie Hunter Brown that extended Texas’ lead to 4-1.

The right fielder homered again in the eighth off Game 4 starter Jose Urquidy, pushing his RBI total for the ALCS to 15 — a record for any postseason series. Garcia subsequently was selected ALCS Most Valuable Player.

Garcia opened Game 6 on Sunday 0-for-4 with four strikeouts before hitting a ninth-inning grand slam. Starting with that at-bats, he went 4-for-4 with two home runs and eight RBIs over his subsequent four at-bats to lead the Rangers’ charge past Houston.

Texas wasted no time springing to the lead in Game 7, chasing Astros starter Cristian Javier (2-1) with a three-run first. Javier had allowed a total of two runs in four previous postseason starts, but he recorded only one out while allowing a solo homer to Corey Seager, his third this postseason, and RBI singles to Garcia and Mitch Garver.

Javier surrendered four hits and one walk.

The Astros, seeking a third consecutive AL pennant, responded with a single from Jose Abreu that drove home Jose Altuve in the bottom of the first and a solo homer from Alex Bregman with one out in the third. Both tallies came against Texas right-hander Max Scherzer.

But Houston stranded runners in scoring position in the first, second and third innings. Texas blew it open in the fourth when Evan Carter and Garcia recorded successive two-RBI hits off Astros rookie J.P. France to up the lead to 8-2. Nathaniel Lowe homered for Texas in the sixth.

Scherzer yielded two runs in 2 2/3 innings. Jordan Montgomery (3-0), who started Games 1 and 5 for the Rangers, came out of the bullpen to win Game 7. He tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out one.

–MK Bower, Field Level Media

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