After sweeping the Texas Rangers inside Globe Life Field to take a 3-2 lead, the Houston Astros returned to Minute Maid Park looking to finish the series and punch their ticket to their third straight World Series. After falling behind 3-1, the Rangers continued pouring it on to take a 9-2 win and tie the series at 3-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The first inning started with a leadoff walk by Marcus Semien, but Framber Valdez was able to settle in and get a 1-2-3 inning after that to bring the Houston offense to the plate. Jose Altuve led off with a single before Michael Brantley drew a walk. Two batters later, Yordan Alvarez singled to center field and scored Altuve to have the Astros on the board early.
In the second, the Rangers answered the ball as Mitch Garver took Valdez deep to right center and tied the game at 1-1. After a pair of three up, three down innings, Houston had two runners on via the walk in the bottom of the third but couldn’t get anyone home.
In the fourth inning, Texas made the Astros pay for that mishap with a two-run homer from Jonah Heim that made it a 3-1 lead in what could be the final game of the 2023 season for the Rangers.
Neither club was able to get really anything going offensively until the sixth inning when the Astros got back-to-back singles from Alvarez and Jose Abreau to put a pair of runners on. Then, a deep sacrifice fly from Mauricio Dubon brought Alvarez home and made it a 3-2 game two-thirds of the way through.
The Rangers got an insurance run in the eighth with a Mitch Garver RBI double into the left-field corner that scored Evan Carter and made it a 4-2 game. In the bottom half of the inning, Houston threatened again with base hits from Alex Bregman and Abreu to put the tying run on for Kyle Tucker. Tucker was walked by Jose Leclerc to load the bases with just one out. However, Leclerc was able to get Dubon and Jon Singleton out to get out of the jam and head to the ninth.
The Rangers put the game away in the ninth inning as Adolis Garcia launched a grand slam into the Crawford Boxes to increase the lead to 9-2 before the Astros went three-up, three-down to end the contest and force a winner-take-all on Monday night.
BIG NUMBER: 0
When the Astros were just one game away from the Fall Classic, key hitters for the Astros (Bregman, Pena, Brantley, Tucker, Dubon) failed to show up and combined for zero base hits.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Nathan Eovaldi
The Rangers starter for Game 6 had a stellar performance when his team needed it, going 6.1 innings while allowing five hits, two runs, three walks, and four strikeouts.
UP NEXT: Game 7 of the ALCS will be played Monday night at Minute Maid Park with a spot in the World Series on the line. First pitch is set for 7:03 p.m. and you can hear it on ESPN 103.7 Lafayette and 104.1 Lake Charles.