It was another lively evening of postseason baseball. The Minnesota Twins need to take care of business, or they’ll be the next team to go home, as the Astros are now up 2-1. And it’s a night of celebration for the Texas Rangers as they win their first ALDS since 2011.
AL Division Series Game 3: Houston Astros 9, Minnesota Twins 1
This game was ALL Astros, as they absolutely clobbered Minnesota. Houston started by scoring four runs in the first inning — and they never looked back. Our dear old friend José Abreu put on a hitting clinic, going 2-for-5 with five RBIs, including two mammoth home runs. Yordon Álvarez continued his playoff tear when he cranked another four-bagger in the ninth. He now has hit a round-tripper in five of his last six ALDS games. The guy is clutch. With a Houston 14-hit parade, Target Field was extremely quiet today.
Sonny Gray couldn’t duplicate his Game 2 performance in the Wild Card and left after only four innings and 89 pitches. He gave up four earned runs on eight hits and one walk and struck out six. On the flip side, Cristian Javier tossed five innings of one-hit ball and kept the Twins off the board. The Twinkies scored their lone run off rookie Hunter Brown in the bottom of the sixth when Will Castro singled Carlos Correa home. The Houston bullpen of Bryan Abreu, Phil Maton, and Rafael Montero closed it out.
The José Abreu game. It hurts me to type that. Pito had himself quite the postseason performance this afternoon. It’s August Abreu in October. In the top of the first inning, he launched a hanging breaking ball 442 feet away in deep left field. It gave the Astros an early 4-0 lead.
Jeremy Peña made one heck of a play in the bottom of the sixth to kill a mini-rally by the Twins and end the inning.
Because one Abreu blast isn’t enough, here’s a peek at the second one he hit just for fun in the top of the ninth. This was just a tad shorter — it was only 440 feet.
The two clubs will go at it again tomorrow in a win-or-go-home contest for the Twins. You can watch the ALDS Game 4 at 6:00 p.m. CT on FS1.
AL Division Series Game 3: Texas Rangers 7, Baltimore Orioles 1
The Lone Stars are still undefeated in postgame play. After a 3-0 sweep of the O’s, they head to the ALCS, where they will face either the Houston Astros or Minnesota Twins.
This game was never even close. Texas took a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo jack by Corey Seager. Things quickly spiraled out of control for the Orioles in the bottom of the second after a single by Josh Jung, a double by Marcus Semien, an intentional walk to Seager, a double by Mitch Garver, and a three-run home run by Adolis García. By the time the inning ended, the Rangers were ahead 6-0. Baltimore managed to score a run in the top of the fifth on singles by Jordan Westburg and Gunnar Henderson. Texas answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth off a Nathaniel Lowe homer.
Nathan Eovaldi continued his playoff dominance on the mound for Texas. He gave up only one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over seven innings. He’s now 2-0 in the 2023 postseason with a 1.32 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in 13 2⁄3 innings. Amazingly, he’s also not walked a single batter. We can’t even wrap our brains around that on the South Side.
Dean Kremer struggled from the get-go for Baltimore in his first-ever playoff appearance. He hit 53 pitches and gave up six runs by the time he left the game after only 1 2⁄3 innings. The 101-win O’s, who were so fun and exciting to watch in the regular season, just looked overmatched. They’re young and definitely have a bright future, but their front office has some work to do in the offseason. Acquiring some veteran pitching should be a priority. It’s time to spend and complete your rebuild, Mr. Angelos. Don’t be the next Chicago White Sox.
Texas showed why they were tied for the AL lead in team home runs during the 2023 season. They hit three today.
Eovaldi pitched a gem as the Rangers clinched the ALDS.
The Rangers will play in Game 1 of the ALCS on Sunday, October 15. You can catch the broadcast on FOX/FS1, time TBD.