Rangers complete sweep of Orioles, advance to ALCS: How Texas dominated Baltimore

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The Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Division Series, defeating the O’s 7-1 on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi had seven strikeouts and gave up one earned run, as Texas’ Corey Seager, Adolis García and Nathaniel Lowe homered in the win.
  • Texas scored five runs — three driven in by García — in the second inning off Baltimore’s Dean Kremer before the starter was replaced by Tyler Wells after 1 2/3 innings.
  • The Rangers are headed back to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2011 when they lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

How Texas dominated the ALDS

All in all, Texas’ ALDS domination was a tour de force, a display of the Rangers’ brute power, superior payroll and a roster with postseason experience.

It started in Game 1, when Texas won a tight-knuckle 3-2 game, and Bruce Bochy managed a creative pitching plan to perfection and the Rangers left Camden Yards with a feeling they had stolen a win in the series opener.

In Games 2 and 3, Texas bludgeoned Baltimore to no end. First was an 11-8 win in Game 2, when the Rangers knocked Baltimore starter Grayson Rodriguez out of the game after only 1 2/3 innings. It was more of the same in Game 3. Seager and García both homered off Kremer, and designated hitter Mitch Garver added a two-run double. It was 6-0 in the second inning and Kremer was lifted after 1 2/3 innings.

On the mound, Eovaldi added to his longstanding resume as a big-game pitcher, going seven masterful innings as the Rangers closed out the series in dominating fashion. Eovaldi tunneled and sequenced his pitches well all night, surrendering only one run and striking out seven batters. He generated 16 swinging strikes, nine with his trademark splitter.

The Rangers — who could get pitchers Jon Gray and Max Scherzer back in the ALCS — have the look of a team getting hot at the right time. — Cody Stavenhagen, Detroit Tigers writer

What went wrong for the Orioles

Pick your narrative. They were young, inexperienced. The starting pitching staff was tired, with the offense missing for two-thirds of the series. But there’s no mistaking the Orioles were beaten in every aspect of the game. Every button Bochy pushed — hitting Mitch Garver third in Game 2, sticking with reliever Dane Dunning on gut in Game 1 — panned out. And a high-flying Orioles team that had not been swept in the regular season since last May exited the playoffs with a whimper, leading for just one inning the entire series.

But the biggest problem remained the rotation, as the Orioles started three pitchers who had a combined zero playoff starts with only Kyle Bradish coming close to matching his Rangers counterpart. In the series, Orioles starters went eight innings and allowed 12 earned runs on 20 hits and six walks (14.63 ERA.) If you take out Bradish, Rodriguez and Kremer combined for just 10 outs in Games 2 and 3, pitching to a 29.70 ERA. The offense, while lackluster, was constantly working out of big deficits in the final two games of the series.

The Orioles were one of the best stories in baseball during the regular season. They believe their competitive window is just beginning. Still, this one hurts. — Brittany Ghiroli, MLB writer

Highlight of the game

Required reading

(Photo: Carmen Mandato / Getty Images)

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