The American League will go through Texas. After a tough regular season and stressful postseason, the two remaining AL teams — the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers — are both from the Lone Star State.
They achieved this status in various ways during the season. Rangers have returned to prominence this year after flexing their financial muscles. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager were brought in on mega deals before the 2022 season, but that didn’t stop them from acquiring Max Scherzer and his big 2024 salary at the trade deadline.
The Astros spend money, too, but the team has largely been a consistent contender for its infield center. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker and Yordon Alvarez have excelled themselves once again this postseason.
On Sunday, Jordan Montgomery and Justin Verlander both got off to great starts for their teams, but thanks to some great defense from young superstar Evan Carter, it was the Rangers who prevailed in a low-scoring affair.
See below for ALCS Game 1 news, scores and highlights.
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And that’s the game. After a wild eighth inning, Rangers closer Jose LeClerc pitched a 1-2-3 effort in the ninth to snap a 2-0 lead over Texas in the ALCS. Jordan Montgomery earned the win after a stellar 6 1/3 innings.
After a Jose Alduway walk, Evan Carter makes a ridiculous catch on an Alex Bregman fly ball in the far left field, then throws to the infield for a double play on Alduway.
The Rangers go 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth. Still 2-0 Texas.
Jordan Montgomery left after 6 1/3 innings: 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, zero runs allowed.
Nerys got Marcus Semien to pop out, ending the inning. Rangers, 2-0 in seventh.
Justin Verlander was done after 6 2/3 innings. A Leoty Taveras single put runners on first and second with two outs. A strong outing from Verlander, but he goes to the lineup to face the loss.
The final line: 6 2/3 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts and 2 earned runs. Rangers lead, 2-0. Hector Nerys takes over on the mound.
Montgomery faced a 1-2-3 inning of his own. Pitching a shutout through six. 2-0, Rangers.