Texas Rangers crush Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 to win first World Series
Texas Rangers pose for photos after clinching their first World Series at Chase Field in Phoenix on Thursday. Photo: Getty
Texas Rangers kept up their sensational play on the road, shutting out the Diamondbacks 5-0 in game five of the World Series in Arizona to deliver the franchise its first Major League Baseball championship.
Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but gave up three consecutive hits beginning with a single to Corey Seager and ending with an RBI up the middle to Mitch Garver that broke up the scoreless affair.
The Rangers added four more runs in the top of the ninth, all but extinguishing any hope of a Diamondbacks comeback as Josh Sborz struck out Ketel Marte looking to seal the triumph, leading players to pile on top of each other in the middle of the field.
“Everything I’ve ever worked for was for this moment,” said shortstop Marcus Semien, who blasted a two-run homer in the ninth.
“Kind of a crazy game when you’re getting no-hit through six, Gallen was unbelievable tonight, but we came through. Once Corey got the first hit, everybody kind of woke up.”
It was the Rangers’ MLB record 11th-straight road victory in the postseason, and Sborz said the club took pride in their ability to stay focused amid the madness surrounding them.
“It was hostile territory everywhere we went and we just stayed calm, did our job, and played the way we did all year,” he said.
While Gallen rolled through his first six innings at Chase Field, it was an entirely different story for Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi.
The righty had traffic on the bases in each of the first five innings and had his back against the wall when the Diamondbacks loaded them up in the bottom of the fifth.
But he elicited a harmless ground ball from Lourdes Gurriel to end the threat and got his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth before handing the ball over to Aroldis Chapman.
“I don’t know how many more rabbits I had left in my hat,” Eovaldi said. “I didn’t really help myself out in a lot of those situations and other times they put together quality at-bats … but we were able to come out on top, that’s the main thing.”
The championship marks a dramatic turnaround for the franchise, which lost 102 games in the 2021 season.
The front office responded to that futility aggressively, signing Seager, who was named World Series MVP for the second time on Wednesday, and Semien as part of a rapid rebuild.
It paid off and now the team, which was founded in Washington in 1961 and has played in Texas since 1972, is only the third club to go from losing 100 games to winning it all within a two-year span, joining the 1914 Boston Braves and 1969 Mets.
Perhaps the most important component of their transformation came when ownership lured three-time World Series winning manager Bruce Bochy out of retirement.
“I was in Nashville just relaxing and had three years off, and to come back and be in this position, I’ve said so many times, I’ll say it again, I’m blessed,” Bochy told reporters.
Bochy joins an elite list of managers who have won at least four titles, including Joe McCarthy (7), Casey Stengel (7), Connie Mack (5), Walter Alston (4) and Joe Torre (4).
Seager etched his name alongside three Hall of Famers, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson as the only two-time World Series Most Valuable Players with his trio of two-run homers against the Diamondbacks.