Rangers take out D-backs for franchise’s 1st World Series title

The Texas Rangers spent seven months of this season terrorizing adversaries with a menacing offense that feasted on home runs and hardly ever let up. The first night of November showcased the other aspects that make them dominant — gritty starting pitching, sound defense and a lineup versatile enough to manufacture runs when needed.

It sealed them a title.

The Rangers defeated the upstart, underdog Arizona Diamondbacks in front of a soldout Chase Field crowd, 5-0, in Game 5 of the World Series on Wednesday, clinching the first championship in the 63-year history of their franchise. 

Nathan Eovaldi continually weaved out of trouble, somehow matching a dominant Zac Gallen through six scoreless innings. The Rangers’ offense finally came through late, ending Gallen’s no-hit bid and producing a run in the seventh and exploding for four runs in the ninth.

The greatest postseason in Rangers history concluded with an 11th consecutive road victory. No team had ever won more than eight in a row in the playoffs.

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Corey Seager was voted World Series MVP, becoming the fourth player all-time to win the honor twice since the award was first given out in 1955.

Seager, who also won it in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, joined Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson.

The Rangers are the third team in baseball history to collect the World Series within two seasons of losing 100-plus games, joining the 1969 New York Mets and the 1914 Boston Braves.

Texas lost 102 games in 2021 and responded by spending a combined $500 million on Seager and Marcus Semien the following offseason. A year later, they splurged on their rotation — signing Jacob deGrom, Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney — and plucked three-time champion Bruce Bochy out of retirement to be their manager.

Bochy became the sixth manager with four or more World Series titles, joining Joe McCarthy (7), Casey Stengel (7), Connie Mack (5), Joe Torre (4) and Walter Alston (4). His steadying presence proved invaluable for a team that continually faced adversity.

The Rangers were hit with a litany of injuries throughout their lineup and all over their pitching staff as the season progressed. Inconsistency plagued them late. The Rangers lost eight consecutive games near the middle of August and six of their first seven matches at the start of September. They dropped the regular-season finale in Seattle and thus gave away the American League West to the Houston Astros, instead forced to play in the wild-card round with a shorthanded bullpen.

Then their perseverance showed.

Game 5 showcased more of their moxie. The Diamondbacks put at least one baserunner on in each of the first five innings, but Eovaldi continually worked out of jams, including a bases-loaded one in the fifth, keeping the game scoreless until the Rangers’ offense finally broke through against Gallen in the seventh.

Seager led off with a single through a vacant third base. Evan Carter, the rookie sensation, followed with a double to right field. And Mitch Garver singled up the middle, putting the Rangers on the board.

The Rangers broke the game open with four runs in the ninth. Jonah Heim singled to center field on a ball that snuck under the glove of Alek Thomas, scoring two runs, and Semien followed with a two-run homer — a fitting end to the Rangers’ stirring rise to a championship.

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