LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Texas Rangers captured the World Series for the first time in the team’s 63-year history on Wednesday, Nov. 1, defeating Arizona 5-0 to complete a historic playoff championship run.
Marcus Semien’s two-run home run, a run-scoring Mitch Garver single and a pivotal ninth-inning Diamondbacks error produced the runs that enabled Texas to win Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final by 4-1.
“It’s just emotional,” Semien said. “Everything I have ever worked for is for this moment.”
Texas went undefeated in 11 contests on the road away from their suburban Dallas home ballpark, capped by sweeping three games in Phoenix over the Diamondbacks.
“It’s such a treat,” the Rangers’ Nathaniel Lowe said. “We really did a great job of finishing here on the road. Maybe we struggled at home but we’ve got a special group.”
The Rangers, who began as the Washington Senators in 1961 before relocating to Texas in 1972, had reached the World Series in 2010 and 2011, losing first to San Francisco and then St. Louis.
“That’s one of the coolest feelings of my life,” Texas slugger Jonah Heim said. “It’s what your work your whole life for. we accomplished our goals. I’m so proud of this team.”
The D-backs suffered their first World Series defeat, having won the 2001 crown in their only prior appearance.
Arizona pitcher Zac Gallen kept Texas hitless through six innings, the 28-year-old US right-hander baffling the same batters who blasted out 11 runs on 11 hits the night before.
“He had his good stuff working,” Lowe said. “But we finally got to him.”
The Rangers pounced, however, in the top of the seventh with three consecutive hits as Corey Seager singled to left field, reached third base on Evan Carter’s double and scored on Mitch Garver’s single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
“It was kind of a crazy game,” Semien said. “We got no-hit until the sixth or whatever inning it was. But we came through. Once Corey got the first hit everybody kind of woke up.”
Texas shortstop Seager homered three times and drove in six runs in the World Series to win the Most Valuable Player award, becoming only the fourth player to take it twice after his MVP role for the 2020 champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Just happy to be part of this team,” Seager said. “We grind it and play through it. It’s awesome right now.”
After Texas left the bases loaded in the eighth, Josh Jung and Lowe singled to open the ninth for the Rangers and both scored on an error by Arizona’s Alek Thomas on Heim’s single to make it 3-0.
Semien then blasted a two-run homer into the left-field seats for a 5-0 Rangers lead to all-but settle matters.
When Josh Sborz struck out Ketel Marte for the final out, ending the Arizona batter’s 20-game playoff hit streak, the Rangers began a wild celebration.
“We weren’t going to let up until the last out was made,” Heim said. “We fought hard. We came out on top.”