García’s homer in 10th gives Rangers 7-5 win over Astros

MLB

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)The boos were loud from Texas fans getting their first chance to tell the Houston Astros what they think of their sign-stealing scandal, and overshadowed the big league debut of a hometown kid pitching for their rival.

Adolis Garcia had them all screaming for joy in the end.

The 28-year-old Cuban rookie hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Rangers a 7-5 victory after the Astros rallied to spare rookie starter Tyler Ivey a loss in front of more family and friends than he could count.

Garcia’s opposite-field shot to right came with two outs after the Astros had rallied with a three-run eighth and gone ahead in the top of the 10th on Texas third baseman Brock Holt’s second error of the game.

Garcia’s homer was the team-leading 12th. And it marked the first game-ending home run in the history of year-old Globe Life Field, giving the Rangers just their second win in 11 games.

”Just trying to stick to the plan,” Garcia said through a translator. ”I’ve always been doing the same. Just kind of staying in the same routine and good things are happening.”

Slugger Joey Gallo kept the inning going with his third walk of the game, this one off Bryan Abreu (2-3) when the Houston right-hander was an out away from his first career save.

Garcia drove a 1-0 fastball into the third row in right field, nodding toward his teammates in the dugout as he tossed the bat in their direction and headed toward first after finishing off his second five-RBI game of the season.

”That’s pretty much the recipe right now,” Gallo said. ”Get on base for that guy. He’s as hot as they come right now.”

Jose Altuve, the target of the loudest boos in the first game with fans at the home of the Rangers after Houston played there last year when no fans were allowed during the pandemic-shortened regular season, extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a tying single in the eighth.

Carlos Correa sparked the rally after replacing Almedys Diaz, who had left hamstring tightness, in the fifth when the star shortstop was supposed to have the night off.

After giving the boos a boost when he was introduced before his first at-bat in the sixth, Correa connected for an RBI double in the eighth before another from Jason Castro, who had three hits and scored the tying run.

Ian Kennedy came on to face Altuve with two outs, and the Texas closer ended up with his first blown save of the season in 12 opportunities when the Houston star hit a liner to left center.

Correa was the automatic runner in the 10th and scored when Holt threw wide of second base on Altuve’s grounder with one out against left-hander Taylor Hearn (2-1).

”I felt like there were some things that didn’t go our way,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. ”At the end of the day, we had the best hitter on the planet up in the right spot and he came through again.”

The tough ending for Houston came after Ivey no longer had to worry about taking the loss across the street from where he watched the Rangers growing up at open-air Globe Life Park.

The 25-year-old’s debut was inside year-old Globe Life Field, the $1.2 billion retractable roof stadium with a view through the huge windows above left field of what’s now a football venue.

A lanky right-hander with a herky-jerky windup and high leg kick, Ivey retired the first seven Texas batters before Holt’s solo homer – his first for the Rangers – got Texas even at 1. Ivey’s first career strikeout ended the second of two perfect innings, prompting a fist-shaking celebration from his bearded and burly dad.

”I’m proud he got to see that,” Ivey said. ”My parents, my family they made so many sacrifices along the way. To get to go out there close to home, for them to see that, is really special to me.”

Garcia had a tiebreaking, two-run double in the fourth, and Nate Lowe added an RBI single in the fifth right after Ivey came out.

Ivey, who pitched at Texas A&M as a freshman before going to junior college and getting drafted by the Astros in the third round in 2017, allowed six hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts.

GIBSON SHARP AGAIN

Kyle Gibson ended up with his fourth consecutive no-decision, giving up one run in six innings to tie the Texas franchise record with his ninth consecutive start of at least six innings with three or fewer runs allowed.

All nine have come since the right-hander had the shortest opening day start in franchise history, getting one out while allowing five runs after being given a 5-0 lead.

NOT EVEN IN THE PLAYOFFS

Garcia’s dramatic shot was the first game-ending homer in the regular season or postseason. Globe Life Field was the neutral-site home of an NL Division Series, then fans were allowed in for the only time last year when the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL Championship Series and the World Series.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (3-1, 2.70 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings but got a no-decision in Houston’s 6-2 victory over the Rangers on Sunday. He’s making his 100th career start.

Rangers: RHP Jordan Lyles (2-3, 5.93) has allowed six earned over his last 16 innings to get his ERA down from 7.39. Lyles outdueled Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in his most recent start, allowing a run in six innings in Texas’ 5-2 win.

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