Eovaldi remains perfect, Rangers slam Astros to force Game 7

HOUSTON — Nathan Eovaldi remained perfect this postseason and Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim He homered early in the ninth inning Grand Slam Adolise Garcia helped the Texas Rangers avoid elimination with a 9-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series on Sunday night.

Eovaldi, who also got the win in Game 2, allowed five hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings to improve to 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA in the playoffs this year.

A decisive Game 7 is Monday night in Houston, where the Rangers, one of six major league teams without a World Series title, need a win to make their first trip to the Fall Classic since back-to-back trips in 2010-11. .

The defending World Series champion Astros were once again defeated by a subpar start Framber Valdez and lackluster playing at home. Valdez was charged with five hits and three runs with six strikeouts in five innings to fall to 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA this postseason.

The Rangers led by two before breaking the game open with a five-run ninth, punctuated by a slam by Garcia, who broke his previous four times. Slug was booed during the game after being in the middle of a scuffle on the bench in Game 5 after being hit by a pitch from Bryan Abreu.

When García knocked a pitch from Ryne Stanko into the Crawford Boxes in left field with one out in the ninth, many of those fans began streaming to the exits after another poor home showing in Houston.

The Astros, who are 5-0 this postseason, have won three straight in Arlington in their orange jerseys to move within striking distance of their third straight World Series. But it didn’t help them carry their road magic home as they fell to 1-4 in Houston this postseason after going 39-42 in the regular season at Minute Maid Park.

The streak joins Houston’s 2019 World Series loss to Washington as the only best-of-seven series in postseason history in which a road team has won the first six games.

Houston led by one after an RBI single in the first Jordan Alvarez. But Garver tied it on his solo shot to start the second.

Heim connected on Valdez for the second time in the series with a two-run shot with two outs in the fourth to give Texas a 3-1 lead.

Houston made it 3-2 on a sacrifice fly Mauricio Dubon in the sixth. But the Rangers got some insurance on an RBI double by Garver with one out in the eighth off Abreu.

It’s the first time the Rangers have won a postseason elimination game since Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS at Tampa Bay, when Cliff Lee pitched a complete game in a 5-1 Texas victory. They have lost five such games in a row and Sunday’s win was just their second in eight attempts.

The Astros had a chance to cut the lead late before Garcia’s big swing, but José Leclerc came through after giving up a game-tying three-run homer to Jose Altuve in the ninth inning of Game 5.

Josh Sborz walked Alex Bregman to start the eighth for Houston and struck out Alvarez before José Abreu singled.

Leclerc took over and walked Kyle Tucker to load the bases before Dubón lined up quietly to shortstop. Leadoff hitter Jon Singleton, making one career postseason at bat, fanned Jeremy Peña and struck out against Leclerc to end the threat.

Alvarez got Houston’s first hit since the first inning with a no-out single in the sixth. Abreu lined a grounder to right field before Tucker hit a force out that left him at second and sent Alvarez to third.

Dubón’s sacrifice bunt sent Alvarez home to cut the lead to 1. But Peñagrounded to end the inning.

The Astros looked good early against Eovaldi. Altuve hit a leadoff single and stole second base before Brantley walked. There was one out in the infield when Alvarez lined a single to center field to score Altuve and make it 1-0. Eovaldi limited the damage when Abreu lined up before Tucker struck out.

Garver feels the first pitch of the second inning into the seats in right field to tie it at 1-all. A man in the second row caught the ball with his bare hands.

Nathaniel Lowe then singled, but Josh Jung grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Valdez didn’t allow another baserunner until Garver singled with two outs in the fourth. Heim followed with a shot to right field to make it 3-1. The ball sailed just past the glove of a leaping Tucker and into the first row. Heim, who had a regular season record 18 home runs, also homered off Valdez in Game 2 of the series.

Bryan Abreu pitched the eighth inning for Houston after appealing a two-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Garcia.

Bryan Abreu’s hearing is Monday before John McHale Jr., special assistant to Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Evan Carter singled off Bryan Abreu to start the eighth before striking out Adolise Garcia. Bryan Abreu allowed a double to score Garver before retiring the next two batters to end the inning.

By Kristie Rieken

Leave a Comment