García powers Rangers to first World Series since 2011 with 11-4 rout of Astros in Game 7 of ALCS

HOUSTON (AP) — Adolis García and these road-happy Rangers are not only tops in Texas, they’re best in the American League.

García homered twice and drove in five runs as the Texas Rangers reached their first World Series in 12 years with an 11-4 blowout of the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series on Monday night.

Corey Seager got the Rangers started with a long homer in a three-run first inning. Nathaniel Lowe also went deep to give Texas — one of six major league teams without a World Series title — its first berth in the Fall Classic since consecutive trips in 2010 and 2011.

García homered for the fourth straight game and set a record for RBIs in a postseason series with 15. He had four hits, scored three times and was the obvious choice for ALCS MVP in a series that saw the road team win every game.

“He’s a bad man, isn’t he?” Seager said. “To be able to come into this atmosphere and get booed every at-bat and do what he did was really special. It was really fun to watch.”

After winning their Lone Star State showdown with rival Houston, the resilient Rangers open an all-wild card World Series at home Friday night against Arizona or Philadelphia, who play the decisive Game 7 of their NLCS on Tuesday night.

Bruce Bochy, who came out of retirement this season to manage the Rangers, became the first skipper to win a League Championship Series with three different teams, after leading San Diego and San Francisco to NL pennants.

He and general manager Chris Young have spearheaded a swift turnaround with Texas, making its first playoff appearance since 2016 after losing 102 games in 2021 and going 68-94 last year.

“I didn’t know if I’d get back in it. And here I am. I know how blessed I am,” Bochy said. “We’ve had our streaks. We’ve had our injuries. They keep getting up. To come in here and beat such a great team like Houston — and congrats on their year. But it’s great to be wearing the horns in Texas.”

Meanwhile, the defending World Series champion Astros were finally dethroned.

Fittingly, it came at home, where they went 40-47 this year and 0-4 in this series. They won all three games at Texas and returned to Minute Maid Park a win shy of their third straight pennant, but Houston’s pitching staff got pounded for 20 runs in the final two games of the team’s seventh consecutive ALCS.

“That finished our season — not being able to win at home,” said outfielder Chas McCormick, who sat stone-faced in the dugout long after the last out. “That came and bit us.”

No club has repeated as World Series champion since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

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