In Game 5 of the ALCS, the Rangers suffered a devastating blow when a ninth-inning home run dashed their hopes of taking a 3-2 lead in the series. However, they rebounded with remarkable vigor in the subsequent game. Thanks to an impressive display of power hitting, which included a game-changing ninth-inning grand slam by Adolis Garcia, the Rangers dominated the Astros with a commanding 9-2 victory in Houston, leveling the series at three games apiece and setting the stage for a decisive Game 7. It’s worth noting that thus far in the series, the visiting team has emerged victorious in every match.
Early on, the Astros seemed poised to break the trend and become the first home team to clinch a victory in the ALCS. Jose Altuve kickstarted the first inning with a solid single, followed by a walk by Michael Brantley and a single by Yordan Alvarez, granting Houston an early 1-0 lead.
However, the lead was short-lived. In the top of the second inning, Mitch Garver kickstarted Texas’ home run spree with a solo shot to right field, leveling the score. Then, two innings later, Jonah Heim, another potent hitter for the Rangers, launched a two-run homer to right, propelling Texas into a 3-2 lead.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning that Houston managed to breach Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi’s defenses, with Mauricio Dubon adding a run via a sacrifice fly. Yet, the Rangers swiftly retaliated in the eighth inning, as Garver delivered an RBI double to left. The lead expanded further when Corey Seager was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Just two batters later, Garcia, who had endured a challenging game and a chorus of boos from the crowd, silenced the stadium with a powerful line drive grand slam to left, effectively blowing the game wide open.
Although the final score reflected a dominant seven-run victory for Texas, the Astros will undoubtedly reflect on missed opportunities throughout the game. They left two runners stranded in the first and third innings, and on two occasions late in the game, they had the chance to seize the lead but fell short.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Astros had Kyle Tucker at bat with runners on first and second and no outs, but he grounded into a force out, resulting in only a run via a sacrifice fly. Two innings later, despite having the bases loaded with just one out against the struggling Jose LeClerc, who had previously given up the go-ahead homer to Altuve, the Astros failed to capitalize, ultimately leaving the bases loaded.
Nathan Eovaldi continued to solidify his impressive postseason legacy, moving to a remarkable 4-0 in this year’s playoffs. He allowed just two runs on five hits and three walks across 6.1 innings of work, bringing his career postseason ERA to an impressive 2.87, with a win-loss record of 8-3.
As the series heads to a decisive Game 7, the Rangers will send three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to the mound, pitted against Cristian Javier, who has been delivering standout performances in his second consecutive exceptional postseason.
The Sporting News diligently tracked the scores and highlights from the intense 2023 ALCS Game 6, and below are the key highlights and updates from the game.
Rangers vs. Astros score