Semien’s 5 RBIs, Seager’s home run lead Rangers over Diamondbacks 11-7 for 3-1 World Series lead
By RONALD BLUM – AP Baseball Writer
PHOENIX (AP) – Marcus Semien’s two-run triple and three-run homer gave Texas a 10-run lead in the third inning, Corey Seager hit another long home run and the Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-7 on Tuesday night to move on face three games to one in the The World Series.
Rangers batters hit three Diamondbacks pitching like a desert storm, leading 10-0 and becoming the first team in League history with consecutive five-run innings. Seager’s third two-run homer of the Series capped the secondSemien’s drive punctuated the third and Jonah Heim added an eighth inning.
Texas improved to a record 10-0 on the road this postseason and moved within one win of the first title in the 63-season history of the franchise that began as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961.
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“It’s business as usual. We have our best guy on the mound now,” Semien said. “He’s been great all postseason. He has the dog there. I’m excited for him. He’s a guy who’s been waiting for this moment all year.”
Forty-two of the previous 49 teams to go 3-1 have won the World Series. The most recent club to overcome a 3-1 deficit was the Chicago Cubs against Cleveland in 2016.
Texas scored its first 10 runs in two outs, battering an Arizona team that needed four pitchers to get its first eight outs. Miguel Castro’s wild pitch brought home the first run, and Gold Glove first baseman Christian Walker made an error – the first by either team in the League — resulted in five unearned runs in the third.
“This is nothing we saw coming. We had guys who were throwing the ball very well, picking up the baseball on defense. It all dawned on us there in two innings,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Seager and Semien, All-Star center fielders signed as free agents for a combined $500 million before the 2022 season, each have six RBI in the League. Seager, the first shortstop with three League homers, has four homers in his last five games heading into the AL Championship Series. After leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 2020 title, he could join Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson as the only two-time World Series MVPs.
Travis Jankowski, replacing injured slugger Adolis García in right field, singled in the second and hit a two-run double in the third in his first League at-bat.
García, the AL Championship Series MVP, spoke during a pregame meeting.
“It’s a big part of the work we do. We’re trying to go out there and win this one for him,” Seager said. “That took a lot for him to come out there and talk. We know how it feels. He wants to be out there with us, and he’s contributed a lot to the boys.”
Andrew Heaney, a 32-year-old pitcher with his fifth major league team, got the win after allowing four hits in five innings. There were six saves later, and José Leclerc scored the final game.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth for Arizona and a three-run homer in the eighth against Chris Stratton. Tommy Pham had a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and Gabriel Moreno delivered a two-run single in the ninth.
There was a festive mood at Chase Field, where the roof was open for the second straight night. Some fans came in Halloween costumes, but many started booing in the second inning.
With both teams short of starting pitchers, they each intended to combine bullpen games in what Lovullo called a “chess game” he was looking forward to. For the Diamondbacks, it was a gambit that failed.
Josh Jung doubled off opener Joe Mantiply to lead off the second and Castro, who gave up García’s game-winning homer in the 11th inning of the final. Jung advanced on a groundout and put Texas ahead when Castro bounced a changeup from the plate for a wild pitch.
Semien found a slider that landed about 18 inches flat and bounced into the left-field corner for a two-run triple and a 3-0 lead. Castro, his head, was booed as he walked out, and Seager hit Kyle Nelson’s slider 431 feet off the video board over the right-center wall for his sixth postseason homer.
“That’s the type of offense we want to put together, especially in the biggest games of the year,” Semien said. “And on the road, just to quiet the crowd so Heaney can focus too.”
In the first World Series to open with three games without an error, Arizona’s defense improved at an inopportune time. After singles by Jung and Nathaniel Lowe with one out in the third, Luis Frías relieved and Heim hit a sharp grounder to Walker, who had a chance for a double play but the ball dropped in transition as he looked to throw to second. .
Jankowski doubled and Semien sent a jumble of letters over the left field wall for his first homer since Sept. 27.
“I haven’t jogged around the bases in a while,” Semien said. “I’ve had stretches like that before. Of course, that’s bad timing, but going to keep working. Work continued. I had simplified some things at the plate, just to get on the fastball and see the slider a little better. And it certainly went well tonight.”
Heim was 0 for 12 before his homer against Ryne Nelson.
Only the Boston Red Sox scored more runs two games out of the World Series, getting 11 in the 2007 opener against Colorado.
Ketel Marte had two hits in Arizonaextending his record postseason hitting streak to 20 games.
García (left oblique) and pitcher Max Scherzer (back spasm) were removed from the Texas roster a day after their injuries. INF/OF Ezequiel Durán and LHP Brock Burke were added, and Burke was charged with three runs in the eighth. … Seager appeared to twist one or both ankles on his home run swing. He was removed for a pinch runner after doubling in the ninth. “Oh no, I was good,” Seager said. … Rangers rookie Evan Carter was hit on the right pinkie by a pitch in the ninth.
Eovaldi is 4-0 with a 3.53 ERA in five starts this postseason. He left with a 5-3 deficit in Friday’s opener, allowing five runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Gallen gave up three runs and four hits over five innings in the opener and is 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA in five postseason starts, which includes six homers in 27 1/3 innings.
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