World Series Game 1 score, highlights: Rangers get dramatic win as Adolis García, Corey Seager hit late homers

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The Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 6-5 margin in 11 innings on Friday night in Game 1 of the 2023 World Series. The Rangers now lead the best-of-seven series by a 1-0 margin.

The Rangers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but were unable to hold that for long. Texas entered the ninth inning trailing by a 5-3 margin. Shortstop Corey Seager delivered a game-tying home run off Arizona closer Paul Sewald to send the game to extras. Adolis García then homered to win it in the 11th.

Here are seven takeaways from the D-backs'/Rangers Game 1 victory.

1. García has historic night

The aforementioned Adolis García continued his recent hot stretch in Game 1, driving in a run early to put Texas up by a 2-0 margin and then capping the game with a walk-off home-run in the 11th off Miguel Castro to win the contest. Take a look at the blast in all its moving picture glory:

García reached base five times overall. He also made some history in the process: hia RBIs represented his 21st and 22nd of these playoffs, eclipsing the single-postseason record that had previously been held by former Cardinals third baseman David Freese. 

It's worth noting that García's record-setting RBI came in his 60th plate appearance of the month. Freese took 71 trips to the plate in 2011.

Additionally, García extended his home-run streak to five in a row and his RBI streak to seven consecutive games. Those marks put him second in both categories. Daniel Murphy (sixth) is the only player with a longer home-run streak; meanwhile, Ryan Howard (2008), Alex Rodriguez (2007-09), and Lou Gehrig (1928-32) are the only players to drive in a run in eight consecutive playoff contests.

García, then, has a chance to make more history come Game 2.

His walk-off home run was also the first in Game 1 of the World Series since Kirk Gibson's 1988 heroics.

2. Seager forces first extra-innings game of playoffs

The Diamondbacks' bullpen, particularly Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald, had been nails throughout the playoffs. In fact, Ginkel and Sewald entered Game 1 having combined for 19 scoreless innings this month. That changed on Friday night. Ginkel kept his scoreless streak in tact despite a bumpy eighth. 

You know what's coming based on the bolded title above, so let's just state it in plain English: Sewald wasn't so lucky, surrendering a game-tying two-run shot to Corey Seager that extended the game beyond nine innings.

Take a look:

It was the 14th time in World Series history that a home run in the ninth or later turned a would-be loss into a tie or a win. Meanwhile, this marked the first time all month that a game required more than nine innings to declare a winner. That's a fitting tidbit for the first game of the World Series.

3. Carroll, Marte lead way in loss

The Diamondbacks' best position players mostly came through them on Friday night, even if their top pitchers did not. Infielder Ketel Marte and rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll combined for just two hits, but they drove in four of the Diamondbacks' five runs in Game 1.

Carroll tied up the game in the third with a triple to center field that saw Texas outfielder Leody Taveras take an awkward route to closing out. Carroll then gave the Diamondbacks the lead by beating a throw home on a fielder's choice to first base off Marte's bat. Here's a look at that play:

Marte, for his part, later recorded another RBI on a well-struck double. In the process, he extended his postseason hitting streak to 17 in a row to begin his playoffs career. Only three other players have accomplished such a feat:

  • Hank Bauer, 1956-58
  • Derek Jeter, 1998-99
  • Manny Ramirez, 2003-04

Bauer, Jeter, and Ramirez combined for 29 All-Star Game appearances in their careers. That's some lofty company to be associated with, in other words.

Marte entered Game 1 having hit .359/.382/.604 in his first 12 games this postseason. Carroll, conversely, had hit .295/.396/.455.

4. D-backs show off wheels

We noted that the stolen base was an X-factor entering this series, observing that it could be a strength-on-strength matter. The D-backs ranked second in stolen bases and in stolen-base percentage. The Rangers, conversely, allowed the fifth-fewest stolen bases defensively.

Give round one in this respect to the Diamondbacks.

Indeed, Arizona swiped four bases in Game 1. The aforementioned Marte, Christian Walker, Alek Thomas, and Geraldo Perdomo each did the deed. As a result, the Diamondbacks have now notched four stolen bases in three consecutive games dating back to their NLCS win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

5. Both starters scuffle

On paper, Nathan Eovaldi versus Zac Gallen had the chance to be a pitcher's duel. In practice, it wasn't quite that.

Eovaldi started out of the gate strong, striking out four of the first six batters he faced. Things went downhill beginning in the third, as he surrendered three runs on three hits. He gave up another run in the fourth, on a home run, before allowing yet another run in the fifth. Three of the five batters he faced in that frame reached before Rangers manager Bruce Bochy went to the bullpen.

Eovaldi, who was making his first career World Series start, was trying to improve to 5-0 this postseason. Instead, he finished the night having surrendered five runs (all earned) on six hits and a walk over 4 ⅔ innings. Eovaldi did strike out eight of the 22 batters he faced. 

Gallen, for his part, had a rough introduction to Game 1. He allowed three consecutive runners to reach base as part of a lengthy first inning that saw the Rangers take a 2-0 advantage. Gallen also experienced turbulence in the third, walking three of four batters he faced with two outs, including one that scored a run to even the game at 3-3. 

Gallen would recover to retire seven of the final eight batters he faced on the evening. Overall, he finished Game 1 having yielded three runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out five of the 22 batters he faced.

6. What does a 1-0 lead mean?

Logic dictates that winning the first game in a best-of-seven series puts said team in the driver's seat. Sure enough, the data spells that out, too. According to the website WhoWins.com, MLB teams to win Game 1 have then won the series on 64.4% of occasions. That bodes well for the Rangers, as does the fact that they can now lift the trophy without winning a road game.

7. What's next?

The Diamondbacks and Rangers will reconvene on Saturday night for Game 2. The Diamondbacks will start right-hander Merrill Kelly (12-8, 3.29 ERA) while the Rangers counter with lefty Jordan Montgomery (10-11, 3.20 ERA). First pitch is slated for just after 8 p.m. ET back at Globe Life Field.

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Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 5

Adolis García hits a walk-off home run, because of course he does. That also sets an all-time record for the most RBI in a single postseason. 

October 28, 2023, 4:10 AM
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You wouldn't expect this to go a ton later with these offenses getting to face the underbellies of the bullpens. 

October 28, 2023, 4:09 AM
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Calling my shot here (BEFORE IT HAPPENS), but an Adolis García walkoff just feels right

October 28, 2023, 4:09 AM
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Nelson is staying in, though just to match up with Carter. Castro will come in for the righties.

October 28, 2023, 4:04 AM
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Leclerc gets through the top of the tenth. Rangers have another chance to walk it off. Carter, García, Garver coming up.

October 28, 2023, 4:02 AM
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RE: That last stat, the D-backs have two of those eight losses (Games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series). A loss tonight would make it three of nine.

October 28, 2023, 4:01 AM
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October 28, 2023, 4:00 AM
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Just realized D-backs pitchers have walked 10 batters tonight. Yeesh.

October 28, 2023, 3:59 AM
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Nelson gets Seager to ground out in a 2-0 count. To the 11th!

October 28, 2023, 3:58 AM
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A first pitch single. Here comes Seager.

October 28, 2023, 3:53 AM
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Semien comes up with two outs and a runner on first. He's hitting .175/.254/.211 this postseason. He can change the narrative with one swing.

October 28, 2023, 3:53 AM
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Taveras with the two-out walk

Here comes Marcus Semien, who has been 0-fer tonight. He's mostly been terrible in the playoffs, but he did hit well in Games 6 and 7 of the ALCS.

October 28, 2023, 3:53 AM
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Wow, terrific double play there.

October 28, 2023, 3:49 AM
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Judging from the interactions in the dugout

It looks like the Rangers are planning to leave closer Jose Leclerc in for another inning, should they not score here in the 10th.

October 28, 2023, 3:48 AM
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Another leadoff work. The last one worked out pretty well for Texas.

October 28, 2023, 3:48 AM
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Kyle Nelson in for Arizona

And here's where the D-backs' bullpen depth drops off a bit. 

October 28, 2023, 3:47 AM
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Should note that there is no zombie runner or ghost runner or Manfred Man or whatever you want to call it in the postseason.

October 28, 2023, 3:41 AM
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First extra-innings game of these playoffs

This is the first time we've needed more than nine innings in the 2023 MLB postseason. It's the first extra-innings game in the postseason since World Series Game 1 last year... which was also tied 5-5 after nine. The Phillies won that one, 6-5, in 10 innings.

 
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Seager loves hitting in Texas

This includes the 2020 pandemic postseason, when he was with the Dodgers.

October 28, 2023, 3:37 AM
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An incredible angle

October 28, 2023, 3:37 AM
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Hedges swings and misses at three sliders. To the tenth! First extra innings game of the postseason.

October 28, 2023, 3:36 AM
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Never mind, Garver gets intentionally walked and here comes Austin Hedges for his first at-bat of the postseason. He took over behind the plate after Jonah Heim was pulled for a pinch-runner last inning.

October 28, 2023, 3:35 AM
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Then he steals second base on the first pitch. Garver with a chance to win it with a two-out single.

October 28, 2023, 3:34 AM
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Oof, Sewald hit García on the top of the hand with a pitch. That's a bad place to get hit. He's staying in but he's in obvious pain.

October 28, 2023, 3:33 AM
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Rangers tie it in ninth with Seager home run

The Diamondbacks had held a 5-3 lead in Game 1 of the World Series since the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Diamondbacks closer Paul Sewald entered the game. He hadn't allowed a run in eight innings of playoff work so far. He walked Leody Taveras to start the inning and walking the nine-hole hitter will come back to bite you quite often. 

Sure enough, Rangers superstar shortstop Corey Seager homered with one out to tie the game. 

Tie game! 

That was Seager's 17th career postseason home run and fourth so far in 2023. 

Something to watch moving forward in this series now is how the Rangers made Kevin Ginkel sweat and he threw 28 pitches. They are now really making Sewald work and he's already blown the save. The back-end duo had been untouchable up until this point. 

October 28, 2023, 3:32 AM
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HOLY SMOKES

Corey Seager ties the game with a two-run bomb in the ninth.

October 28, 2023, 3:29 AM
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Surely Semien gets something to hit here with Seager on deck

October 28, 2023, 3:27 AM
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Walking the No. 9 hitter to start the ninth inning in Game 1 of the World Series is no way to go through life, Paul Sewald.

October 28, 2023, 3:27 AM
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Sewald walks the leadoff man

Rangers will have the tying run up in the person of Marcus Semien.

 
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It's time for Paul Sewald to pitch.

October 28, 2023, 3:24 AM
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