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Texas’ shaky bullpen escapes late as Rangers maintain off Orioles 3-2 to open ALDS


The Rangers improved to 3-0 within the 2023 playoffs with the win, all victories approaching the street.

Texas Rangers’ Josh Jung celebrates his solo residence run towards the Baltimore Orioles with teammate Adolis Garcia. (AP Picture/Andrew Harnik) AP

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BALTIMORE (AP) — For the primary time this postseason, the maligned Texas bullpen needed to shield a slim lead within the late innings.

Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and José Leclerc wobbled however didn’t fall.

Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning helped Texas attain the sixth inning forward, and the Rangers held on by means of some anxious moments for a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in Recreation 1 of their AL Division Sequence on Saturday.

“The bullpen did an important job,” supervisor Bruce Bochy stated. “Acquired bumpy, however discovered a solution to get by means of it.”

Josh Jung homered and made a pleasant play at third base to begin a vital double play for Texas, which improved to 3-0 in these playoffs — all on the street.

After main the AL West many of the season however squandering the division crown on the ultimate weekend, the wild-card Rangers entered the postseason with out Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer — and with a bullpen largely thought of a weak hyperlink. However they’ve allowed solely three runs in three video games towards the Orioles and Rays.

The late innings weren’t all that nerve-racking within the Wild Card Sequence towards Tampa Bay, as Texas outscored the Rays 11-1 for a two-game sweep. It was a extra nervous end towards the Orioles.

Heaney held Baltimore to a run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. Dunning relieved him and went two innings for the win, permitting a run within the sixth. Will Smith, Sborz, Chapman and Leclerc mixed for the ultimate 10 outs — however not with out some drama.

Sborz threw seven straight balls to begin the seventh however pitched round a leadoff stroll. Chapman walked the primary two batters within the eighth earlier than Jung ranged to his left and snagged Anthony Santander’s excessive bouncer on a brief hop to begin a 5-4-3 double play. Chapman then struck out Ryan Mountcastle with a runner on third to finish the inning.

Leclerc earned the save, though he allowed a leadoff single within the ninth to Gunnar Henderson. All-Star catcher Jonah Heim threw out Henderson making an attempt to steal second, and the Orioles didn’t handle one other baserunner.

Baltimore supervisor Brandon Hyde didn’t seem comfortable within the dugout with Henderson’s choice to go.

“A little bit miscommunication there,” Hyde stated.

Kyle Bradish struck out 9 in 4 2/3 innings for the Orioles however allowed two runs within the fourth to take the loss. Jung and Santander traded solo homers within the sixth.

Texas has been with out deGrom for some time, and the Rangers left Scherzer off their ALDS roster Saturday due to shoulder issues which have saved him out since mid-September. To date, nonetheless, the Rangers’ pitching has held up.

Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi saved the Rays at bay within the Wild Card Sequence, after which the Heaney-Dunning tandem gave the Rangers an opportunity to win once more.

The Orioles received 101 video games and a division title this 12 months, however it’s been a tough begin to the playoffs for the AL East. Tampa Bay and Toronto had been swept within the first spherical, and now Baltimore is trailing after its postseason opener.

This was the primary playoff recreation at Camden Yards since 2014, and a crowd full of orange-clad followers noticed former Orioles star Adam Jones throw out the primary pitch and longtime fan Joan Jett sing the nationwide anthem. After a 73-minute rain delay firstly, Bradish struck out 5 within the first two innings to maintain the temper festive.

Adolis García and Evan Carter hit consecutive doubles to place Texas up 1-0 within the fourth, and Heim adopted with an RBI single.

The 21-year-old Carter turned the youngest participant in main league historical past with 4 extra-base hits in his first three postseason video games.

Mountcastle hit a run-scoring double for the Orioles within the backside of the inning, however Dunning got here in and held the lead.

Texas was clinging to a 3-2 benefit within the seventh when Sborz issued a leadoff stroll to Aaron Hicks on 4 pitches. The proper-hander then battled again from a 3-0 rely and retired Adam Frazier on a flyball.

Sborz struck out Cedric Mullins and pinch-hitter Ryan O’Hearn to finish the inning.

“I believe we reply high quality,” Hyde stated. “We simply have to get some early runs. Even the final week or so of the season, simply had a troublesome time type of scoring early. It takes numerous strain off lots of people, on the mound and on themselves, if we are able to attempt to get just a few runs throughout early.”

The Rangers missed an opportunity to interrupt the sport open. After scoring two runs within the fourth, they’d the bases loaded and two outs when Bradish struck out Marcus Semien. Texas left 10 runners on base in all.


The Orioles (30-16) had been one of many prime groups within the common season in one-run video games, and the Rangers (14-22) had been among the many worst. However Texas prevailed on this one.

The Orioles additionally led the majors by hitting .287 with runners in scoring place, that means they may very well be in hassle in the event that they regress in that space. They had been 0 for 4 on Saturday.

Baltimore entered the collection with one of many recreation’s prime younger catchers in Adley Rutschman and an AL Rookie of the Yr favourite in Henderson, however it was the Texas catcher (Heim) who had an enormous hit and made a clutch throw. And it was two Texas rookies (Jung and Carter) who drove in essential runs.

“Ever since he’s gotten right here, he’s simply been a dude,” Jung stated of Carter. “To be 21 years previous coming in and be stone chilly on the plate — I’ve by no means seen somebody come up right here and never chase pitches across the zone.”


Rangers: Texas stays with out Scherzer on this collection, even after he confronted hitters at Friday’s exercise. He hasn’t pitched since Sept. 12.

Orioles: Baltimore needed to go away LHP John Means — who was a attainable candidate to begin Recreation 3 — off the roster due to elbow soreness.


Montgomery is ready to begin Recreation 2 for the Rangers on Sunday towards Baltimore rookie Grayson Rodriguez. Montgomery pitched seven scoreless innings towards the Rays final spherical. Rodriguez posted a 2.58 ERA after the All-Star break.