May 24—ARLINGTON — The ball did not even leave the infield but it was enough for some more Adolis Garcia magic. The Texas Rangers swept the Houston Astros with a 3-2 win in 10 innings Sunday as their rookie center fielder came up big in the clutch once again […]
May 24—ARLINGTON — The ball did not even leave the infield but it was enough for some more Adolis Garcia magic.
The Texas Rangers swept the Houston Astros with a 3-2 win in 10 innings Sunday as their rookie center fielder came up big in the clutch once again at Globe Life Field.
With one out and the winning run in Nick Solak at third base, Garcia sent a grounder back up the middle, which second baseman Jose Altuve stopped with a dive. But Altuve had no chance to get Solak at home.
The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Astros after losing four in Houston last week that amounted to a 1-9 stretch.
Texas has an off day Monday before starting a 10-day, nine-game road trip with two against the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday.
Garcia, 28, was 5 for 15 with three home runs and eight RBIs in the three games. He tied for the American League with 14 homers, including a major league high nine in May.
"Adolis is really locked in and clutch," Solak said. "I was ready score. I had a good idea he was going to win the game for us."
The sweep helped the Rangers turn a massive negative force of momentum around after losing six consecutive games, which included a four-game sweep in Houston and then losing three of four to the Yankees in Arlington.
Mike Foltynewicz threw his best game of the season, holding the Astros scoreless in seven innings on three hits and two walks.
The Rangers led 2-0 after scoring on Nate Lowe's bases-loaded walk in the fifth. Texas loaded the bases with three walks against starter Cristian Javier and Lowe worked a two-out walk against reliever Brooks Raley. Willie Calhoun made it 2-0 in the seventh when he led off with a single and scored from first on Nick Solak's double to right-center field. The Astros, however, tied it with two in the eighth against the Rangers' bullpen, including on a wild pitch from Brett Martin and a ground out.
"These guys kept their heads up. [Kyle Gibson] sort of set the tone Friday (for the pitching)," Foltynewicz said. "We're bonding more and more every day as a family. It's just a fun group of guys. Everybody loves each other."
With one out and Solak at third after Nate Lowe's ground out to second, the Astros had the option to pitch around Garcia, who had a walk-off home run Friday and two homers Saturday. In fact, reliever Ryan Pressly could have walked Garcia and Joey Gallo, who was due up next to load the bases to face Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said it was considered.
"I thought with Pressly's stuff — he jammed the heck out of him. You can't make a better pitch than he made," Baker said.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward was a little surprised, although he agreed with Baker that Pressly's pitch on the inside of the plate was a tough pitch to hit for Garcia.
"A little bit, just based on what he's doing right now," Woodward said. "He's got probably more confidence than anyone in baseball right now. I was a little bit surprised."
The Rangers (22-27) swept the Astros (26-21) for the first time since July 2018 at Minute Maid Park.
"It's important for our team to believe when we step on the field — obviously, that's a good team. They're playing well," Woodward said of the in-state rivals. "They came into this [series] about as hot as anyone in baseball. For us to win all three games, our guys are going to take a ton of confidence from that."