After the Game 5 heartbreaker, the Rangers could have come out tonight, rolled over and died but they had Nathan Eovaldi on the mound and he had other ideas. In the same matchup that produced the Game 2 win, Eovaldi and the Rangers fought back against Framber Valdez and the Astros to earn a series-tying victory and a last crack at the Fall Classic.
It took surviving a 1st inning Astros run produced by, you guessed it, a combination of Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez, but Mitch Garver hit an opposite field solo home run to tie the game in the next half inning and Eovaldi started settling in.
By the top of the 4th, with the game still at 1-1, Garver singled and Jonah Heim lofted a ball the opposite way himself on a shot that just kept carrying until it landed inches beyond the outstretched glove of Kyle Tucker to give Texas a 3-1 lead.
Meanwhile, before all was said and done, Eovaldi shoved again for Texas as he allowed two runs on five hits, three walks, and four strikeouts in his 6 1⁄3 innings of lore-growing effort. The second Houston run, however, came in the bottom of 6th and allowed the Astros to get within a run as the scary late innings were arriving. After 88 pitches and an Altuve single, Eovaldi’s night was done.
However, for the first time in seemingly ever, the Rangers got an insurance run in the top of the 8th that ironically came against the would-be suspended Bryan Abreu to make it a 4-2 game.
With their best pitcher out, that meant Texas would need eight out from the bullpen. Which, you know, is terrifying. They got three of those outs from Josh Sborz and then two absolute butt clenchers from Jose Leclerc as he was tasked getting out of a bases loaded jam looking to earn some redemption.
In the very next frame, the Rangers would emphatically put this one to bed with a five spot that included a rather cathartic Adolis Garcia grand slam.
We’ve got a tied series in the ALCS. The Rangers are still fighting.
Player of the Game: Special shoutout to Garver who went 3-for-4 on the night with the home run and a late RBI double while scoring twice and driving in two. But...
Up Next: The Rangers and Astros will battle it out in Game 7 for the right to play in the World Series. RHP Max Scherzer is potentially next in line to start for Texas opposite RHP Cristian Javier for Houston. Neither team has officially named a Game 7 starter, however, and it’ll be all hands on deck regardless.
The Monday night first pitch from Minute Maid Park is scheduled for 7:03 pm CT and will be aired on FOX.