LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The Texas Rangers unleashed an early barrage in an 11-7 defeat of the Arizona Diamondbacks to move within one victory of a first-ever World Series title.
Star shortstop Corey Seager and Marcus Semien blasted home runs as Texas seized a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship series.
Texas were rocked earlier Tuesday by confirmation that star outfielder Adolis Garcia and veteran pitcher Max Scherzer would play no further part in the series after picking up injuries in Monday’s Game 3 win in Phoenix.
But the Rangers responded to that double setback like a team determined to bring the series to a swift conclusion after a devastating burst of scoring that left them 10-0 up after the first three innings.
Texas manager Bruce Bochy praised his team’s response to news of the injuries to the talismanic Garcia and Scherzer.
“I said this earlier, before the game, I couldn’t be prouder of these guys, how they bounce back, how resilient they are, how they’ve dealt with things, whether it’s losing streaks, whether it’s injuries,” Bochy said.
“You can’t do anything about it. You know they’re going to happen occasionally. What’s important is how you handle it. And they just have handled it all so well the whole year.”
Josh Jung got the first run on the board for Texas, scrambling home from third base after a wild pitch from Miguel Castro to make it 1-0 in the top of the second.
Semien then extended the lead with a two-out line-drive to left field that allowed Leody Taveras and Travis Jankowski to score for a 3-0 lead.
Arizona, going with a bullpen game from the mound, pulled Castro for Kyle Nelson but the onslaught continued as Seager crushed a home run to center field for two more runs that made it 5-0.
Nelson fared little better in the top of the third inning, giving up two singles that allowed Jung and Nathaniel Lowe to get on base.
Nelson was pulled to make way for Luis Frias, but still Texas dominated, with Jonah Heim reaching on a fielder’s choice to load the bases.
Frias struck out Taveras to leave the Rangers two down, but again the visitors piled on, Jankowski’s double driving in runs for Lowe and Heim to make it 7-0.
Semien then rubbed salt in with a three-run homer to left center field that brought home Heim and Jankowski for a 10-0 lead.
Arizona finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Lourdes Gurriel’s sacrifice fly allowed Gabriel Moreno to score.
But by that stage the damage had been done and there was no way back for Arizona with Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning shutting down the Diamondbacks scoring.