The American League will pass through Texas. After a grueling regular season and a grueling postseason, the AL’s two remaining teams — the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers — hail from the Lone Star State.
They have reached this point of the season in vastly different ways. The Rangers are back on top this year after flexing their financial muscles. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager were brought in in blockbuster deals before the 2022 season, but that didn’t stop the team from acquiring Max Scherzer and his big 2024 salary at the trade deadline.
The Astros are also spending money, but the team has mostly been a consistent contender thanks to its homegrown core. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez find themselves excelling once again in the postseason.
On Sunday, Jordan Montgomery and Justin Verlander both posted excellent starts for their respective teams, but it was the Rangers who prevailed in a low-scoring game, thanks to some excellent defense from young star Evan Carter.
See below for news, scores and highlights from ALCS Game 1.
And this is the game. After a wild eighth inning, Rangers closer Jose Leclerc recorded a 1-2-3 effort in the ninth inning to secure a 2-0 win to put Texas up 1-0 in the ALCS. Jordan Montgomery picks up the victory after an excellent 6 1/3 inning on the mound.
After a Jose Altuve walk, Evan Carter picked off a fly ball from Alex Bregman into the far corner of left field and then threw it to the infield for a double play on Altuve.
The Rangers fell 1-2-3 at the top of the eighth. Still 2-0 Texans.
Jordan Montgomery is out after 6 1/3 innings: 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, zero runs allowed.
Neres brings Marcus Semien out, and the half ends. Rangers 2-0 in the seventh inning.
Justin Verlander was done after 6 2/3 innings. Leody Taveras’ single to put runners on first and second with two outs ended his day. Solid outing from Verlander, but leaves in line to take the loss.
Final Streak: 6 2/3 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts and 2 earned runs. Rangers led 2-0. Hector Neres takes charge of the mound.
Montgomery counters with a 1-2-3 run of his own. Pitch hist through six. 2-0 Rangers.
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