Corey Seager hits a 2-run HR to lead the Rangers past the D-backs

By David Brandt

Corey Seager launched a two-run homer and made a slick defensive play in the eighth inning to start a crucial single, Max Scherzer combined with four innings of relief for a gem on the mound, and the Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1. 2-1 lead in the World Series on Monday night.

Texas overcame injuries to Scherzer and slugger Adolise Garcia to improve to 9-0 on the road this postseason.

The 29-year-old Seager — in the second year of a $325 million contract — showed again that he’s worth every penny on the game’s biggest stage.

The shortstop smoked a two-run homer into the right-field seats in a three-run third after Diamondbacks starter Brandon Pfaadt left a first-pitch changeup high in the zone. The ball left Seager’s bat at 114.5 mph, the hardest-hit Fall Classic homer in the Statcast era dating back to 2015.

García struck out Christian Walker at the plate with a stellar throw to right field in the second, suffocating some of Arizona’s early momentum. García exited in the eighth after appearing to injure his left side while swinging.

Scherzer threw three solid innings before leaving with back strain, and Jon Gray, Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and José Leclerc combined to keep Arizona’s offense quiet for most of the evening.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday at Chase Field.

The D-backs rallied in the eighth when pinch hitter Emmanuel Rivera led off with a double against Chapman. Geraldo Perdomo followed with an RBI single to make it 3-1. But then Chapman got out of a jam — striking out Corbin Carroll before Seager started a clutch double play, sliding to his knees to field a hot smash from Ketel Marte before turning to Marcus Semien at second, who threw to first.

After García struck out Walker, the Rangers used the third period to gain an early advantage. Semien’s single to left-center made it 1-0, and then Seager crushed his no-doubt homer deep into the right-field seats. It was Semien’s first RBI in 10 games.

Texas is 9-0 this postseason when scoring first.

It was Seager’s fifth homer of the season. The shortstop was also one of the heroes of Game 1 in this fall classic, hitting a tying homer in the ninth to help the Rangers to a 6-5 victory in 11 innings on Garcia’s homer.

Pfaadt, 25, has been a revelation in the postseason with a 2.70 ERA through four October starts, despite a 5.72 ERA during the regular season. He wasn’t as good Monday, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings, striking out four.

The two teams combined for no errors in the first two games of the series, and the Rangers made more defensive plays that helped them take control of Game 3.

Walker led off the second with a double and Tommy Pham followed with a single, but Walker was thrown out at home. D-backs third base coach Tony Perezchica ran a stop sign, but Walker either didn’t see it or didn’t care and never hesitated as he rounded to third.

Garcia — a Gold Glove finalist who has one of the best arms in the big leagues — threw a 94.6 mph racket at the plate to beat Walker easily.

Two batters later, Alek Thomas hit a bouncer that bounced off Scherzer’s right elbow toward the third base line. Josh Jung was there to expose the grounder and throw hard across the diamond to beat the speedy Thomas.

Scherzer gave up no runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one.

YOUNG AND CLEAN (UP)

At 21 years, 62 days, Texas’ Evan Carter became the fourth-youngest player to hit a clean sheet in a World Series. The rookie hit third in the first two games, but manager Bruce Bochy said he flipped Carter and Garcia in the lineup Monday to break up lefties.

The three youngest were Miguel Cabrera (2003), Ty Cobb (1907) and Juan Soto (2019), who were all 20.

FOR SOME TIME NOW

It was the first World Series game played at Chase Field since November 4, 2001, when the Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees 3–2 in Game 7 after Luis Gonzalez’s home run against Mariano Rivera that clinched the series.

The D-backs lost for the first time in the World Series at Chase Field on Monday. They went 4-0 at home in the 2001 series, the only other time they’ve been in the sport’s biggest showcase.

BIG SWING

There have been 62 previous times in World Series history when the series has been tied 1-1 after the second game.

The Game 3 winner has won 41 of 62 Fall Classics.

NEXT UP

The Diamondbacks will put together Game 4 on the mound with several relievers. Manager Torey Lovullo showed his Southern California roots by mentioning the former Los Angeles Dodgers star when asked about his team’s pitching plans.

“Don Drysdale is not going to fall out of the sky,” Lovullo said. “It’s definitely going to be somebody in our bullpen that starts the day tomorrow.

Drysdale teamed with fellow Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in a pitching rotation to help the Dodgers win the World Series in 1959, 1963 and 1965.

The Rangers are also unsure of their pitching plans for Tuesday. Bochy said before Monday’s game that right-hander Jon Gray was a possibility, but he breathed a sigh of relief after Scherzer left the game.

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