2023 American League Division Series 1

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2023 American League Division Series
Texas Rangers logo
2023 American League Division Series logo
Baltimore Orioles logo
Texas Rangers
90 - 72 in the AL
3 - 0
Series Summary
Baltimore Orioles
101 - 61 in the AL


The Teams[edit]




Series results[edit]

Game Score Date Starters Time (ET)
1 Texas Rangers 3 Baltimore Orioles 2 October 7 Andrew Heaney (0-0) Kyle Bradish (0-1) 1:03 pm
2 Texas Rangers 11 Baltimore Orioles 8 October 8 Jordan Montgomery (0-0) Grayson Rodriguez (0-1) 4:07 pm
3 Baltimore Orioles 1 Texas Rangers 7 October 10 Dean Kremer (0-1) Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) 8:07 pm


Game 1 @ Oriole Park at Camden Yards[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Rangers 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 8 0
Orioles 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 5 0
WP: Dane Dunning (1-0); LP: Kyle Bradish (0-1); SV: José Leclerc (1)
Home Runs: TEX - Josh Jung (1); BAL - Anthony Santander (1)
  • Attendance: 46,450

The Rangers won Game 1 before a large boisterous crown in Baltimore as their beleaguered bullpen was able to hold a one-run lead for most of the game. With three front-line starting pitchers injured and unavailable in Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Jon Gray, manager Bruce Bochy decided on Andrew Heaney to start the game, but kept him on a short leash, removing him in the 4th with the hope that his bullpen would hold - which it did. For the Orioles, Kyle Bradish gave up just two runs in the 4th inning, but they were never able to close that gap, coming within one run and placing the tying run on base in each of the final three innings, but without ever being able to erase Texas's early lead.

The two starting pitchers gave up next to nothing through the first three innings. The Rangers' bats suddenly got going in the 4th, however, as Adolis Garcia and rookie Evan Carter hit consecutive doubles with one out, leading to a first run. Jonah Heim followed with a single, scoring Carter with the second run, and Nathaniel Lowe made it four straight hits with another single. The Rangers were unable to do more damage, in spite of Leody Taveras getting the fifth hit of the inning after a second out, as Heim held up at third base and Bradish struck out Marcus Semien to end the inning. The Orioles replied immediately as Anthony Santander drew a one-out walk off Heaney and scored on a double by Ryan Mountcastle. After Heaney got Gunnar Henderson to pop up for the second out, he gave way to Dane Dunning, who walked Aaron Hicks to put a second runner on base. Brandon Hyde then sent in Adam Frazier to pinch hit for Jordan Westburg, but he popped up as well to end the inning. The score was 2-1.

Bradish's outing ended with two outs in the 5th when Hyde called on lefty Danny Coulombe to face Carter with a man on base. Coulombe walked him but got out of the jam by getting Heim to ground into a force out. In the 6th, Coulombe was replaced by Jacob Webb after one out, but he was ambushed by Josh Jung who hit his third pitch for a homer. That two-run lead also was cut in the bottom of the inning when it was Santander who went deep against Dunning. But Texas still held a one-run lead. The Orioles' bullpen was successful in preventing them from adding any insurance runs, but their batters couldn't take advantage of some shakiness from Texas relievers. Josh Sborz came into the 7th inning and threw nine straight balls to start things off, but he still managed to recover and retire the next three batters. In the 8th, Aroldis Chapman was even more wild, giving up two walks and a wild pitch to the first two men he faced, but he managed to get Santander to ground to third base, and Jung made a very nice play to start a double play. Chapman then struck out Mountcastle to end the inning, stranding the tying run at third. In the 9th, José Leclerc gave up a leadoff single to Henderson, but the rookie was caught stealing second by a strong throw by Heim (it was later explained that Hicks had missed the hit-and-run sign, putting the runner in jeopardy). Leclerc then struck out Hicks and got Frazier to hit a grounder to third to end the game.

Game 2 @ Oriole Park at Camden Yards[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Rangers 0 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 11 11 1
Orioles 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 8 14 0
WP: Cody Bradford (1-0); LP: Grayson Rodriguez (0-1)
Home Runs: TEX - Mitch Garver (1); BAL - Gunnar Henderson (1), Aaron Hicks (1)
  • Attendance: 46,475

After a low-scoring Game 1, it was the hitters who dominated Game 2, and the Rangers took the initiative, taking a 9-2 lead after three innings and keeping the Orioles at bay for the rest of the game, even if the Birds would end up scoring 8 runs, making the final score look closer than the game actually was. For Texas, it was a fourth straight win from the start of this postseason, something never accomplished in their history. In addition to their hitting, they took advantage of the Orioles pitchers' generosity, drawing 11 walks, including a record five by Corey Seager. On the mound, rookie Grayson Rodriguez was starting for Baltimore, against Jordan Montgomery, a veteran lefty who had been excellent in starting and winning Game 1 of the Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays a few days earlier.

Rodriguez pitched out of trouble in the 1st, as he started the game by giving up a single to Marcus Semien and a walk to Seager. It is all to his credit that he managed to escape without allowing a run, but it took a lot of work as he struck out Mitch Garver and Adolis Garcia before issuing another walk, this one to Evan Carter, who continued to display a batting eye rarely seen in a 21-year-old, loading the bases. However, Rodriguez got Jonah Heim to fly out to left to end the inning, and that positive outcome energized the O's. In the bottom of the inning, they did what they had been unable to do all day in the first game, which was to take the lead. Ryan Mountcastle singled with one out, as did Gunnar Henderson after another out. Austin Hays then drew a walk to load the bases, and Aaron Hicks, whose failure to execute the hit-and-run had been very costly in the 9th inning of Game 1, redeemed himself with a two-run single. Montgomery was in the ropes, but he got Jordan Westburg to ground out to end the inning.

Baltimore's 2-0 lead was short-lived as it turned out Rodriguez had only one Houdini act in him. He allowed the first two batters in the 2nd to reach, on a walk and a single, and the next man up, Leody Taveras, hit a double that tied the game. Rodriguez then made a great play to field a soft grounder by Semien and throw him out at first, but a walk to Seager and a single by Garver gave Texas a 3-2 lead, then singles by Garcia and Heim increased that to 5-2. That was it for the rookie starter, who gave way to Danny Coulombe, who ended the inning by striking out Nathaniel Lowe. Then, in the 3rd, Texas added four more runs, loading the bases on three walks by Bryan Baker before Garver hit a grand slam off Jacob Webb. It wasn't quite game over because the Orioles still had seven turns at bat, but it was a huge hill to climb. Montgomery was not as sharp as in his first postseason start, having given up the two 1st-inning runs, and then being tagged for doubles in both the 2nd and 3rd, even if both runners had been stranded. Westburg made that a double in three straight innings when he led off the 4th with one; he then scored on a single by Jorge Mateo. After a wild pitch, Adley Rutschman hit a grounder to SS Seager, who considered trying to throw to third to get Mateo, then thought better of it, but by the time he threw to first, it was too late to retire anyone. Mountcastle followed with a sacrifice fly, and it was 9-4.

The Rangers added a run in the 5th when Garver, looking for a second grand slam, instead grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, and when Henderson led off the bottom of that inning with a long homer to right, Bruce Bochy decided to replace his starter, which he did after Hays followed with a single. Bochy called on Cody Bradford, normally a starter and not a pitcher with much big league experience, but he gave him a great outing, with 3 2/3 scoreless innings, extinguishing the momentum that the Orioles had started to rekindle, and earning credit for the win since Montgomery had failed to complete five innings in spite of being given a huge lead. There was no more scoring until Texas added an 11th run in the top of the 9th off Yennier Cano, Baltimore's #1 reliever following the season-ending injury to Félix Bautista. With a huge lead, Bochy wanted to spare his own closer, Jose Leclerc, instead bringing in Brock Burke for the 9th. The youngster couldn't get the job done, allowing a walk to Henderson and a single to Hays after one out. So in came Leclerc, but he immediately coughed up a long gopher ball to Hicks, and it was now 11-8. However, it was a last hurrah for the O's: pinch-hitter Ryan O'Hearn drove a ball to deep left field, but it was caught on the run by Carter, after which Leclerc struck out Cedric Mullins to end the game.

Game 3 @ Globe Life Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Orioles 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
Rangers 1 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 7 11 0
WP: Nathan Eovaldi (1-0); LP: Dean Kremer (0-1)
Home Runs: TEX - Corey Seager (1), Adolis Garcia (1), Nathaniel Lowe (1)
  • Attendance: 40,861

The Rangers completed a three-game sweep with a 7-1 win at home in Game 3, their fifth straight win of the postseason, but their first in front of their fans. For the series as a whole, out of 27 innings completed, they trailed at the end of one - the 1st inning of Game 2 -, were tied for three, and led for all other 23 innings. This game was a reflection of this, as they scored the first run in the bottom of the 1st, then never looked back after putting up a five-spot in the 2nd. Veteran Nathan Eovaldi had a great start, pitching a full seven innings during which he allowed only one run, while Dean Kremer for the Orioles was roughed up in his postseason debut, being unable to complete the 2nd inning. It was really a one-way game reflective of a one-way series.

After a scoreless top of the 1st, Kremer got Marcus Semien to pop up to first base, but then was touched for a home run to centerfield by Corey Seager. That put the Rangers in front, 1-0, and they would lead for the remainder of the game. Kremer gave up a couple of singles with two outs, to Adolis Garcia and Evan Carter, but managed to escape by getting Jonah Heim to fly out to center. He would not be so lucky in the 2nd. After another scoreless frame by Eovaldi, Josh Jung singled with one out, then Semien doubled with two outs to move him to third. Seager was issued an intentional walk to load the bases, but the strategy failed as Mitch Garver doubled in two runs, and Garcia followed with a three-run blast. That made the score 6-0, and the ballgame - and the series - was over for all intents and purposes. Kremer gave way to Tyler Wells who recorded the final out, but the rest of the game was just going through the motions.

The Orioles were unable to mount anything of substance against Eovaldi. They did score one run in the 5th on a single by Jordan Westburg, an ground ball out, and another single by Gunnar Henderson, but they would have needed a lot more. The Rangers got that run back in the 6th anyway when Nathaniel Lowe hit their third homer of the game, making it 7-1. Eovaldi completed seven innings, allowing just five hits and no walks while striking out seven. There was a slight blip when Aroldis Chapman took the mound in the 8th and loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks with two outs, but Bruce Bochy summoned closer José Leclerc from the bullpen, and he got pinch-hitter Aaron Hicks to ground out to first to end the inninig. Leclerc then returned to pitch the 9th and retired the three men he faced in order, closing out the win that sent Texas to the ALCS for the first time since their back-to-back appearances in the World Series in 2010 and 2011. Interestingly, it was the first time that the Orioles had been swept by any team this year, having managed to escape that fate through the entire regular season and in fact dating back to the middle of the 2022 season.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "Rangers-Orioles position-by-position breakdown", mlb.com, October 5, 2023. [1]
  • Schuyler Dixon (The Associated Press): "Orioles get swept for 1st time in 2023, lose AL Division Series in 3 games to Rangers", Yahoo! Sports, October 10, 2023. [2]
  • Kennedi Landry: "Texas breaks out brooms, advances to ALCS for 1st time since '11", mlb.com, October 11, 2023. [3]
  • Brent Maguire: "Orioles' ouster extends AL East's surprising postseason losing streak", mlb.com, October 11, 2023. [4]
  • Jake Rill: "O's young stars ready for 'new high' of October", mlb.com, October 4, 2023. [5]
  • Jake Rill: "Special season over for O's club with bright future: Young core, thriving farm system should ensure Baltimore's postseason berth won't be last", mlb.com, October 11, 2023. [6]

Related Sites[edit]

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NL Wild Card Series Diamondbacks (WC3) over Brewers (NLC) (2-0)

NL Wild Card Series Phillies (WC1) over Marlins (WC2) (2-0)

NL Division Series Phillies (WC) over Braves (NLE) (3-1)

NL Division Series Diamondbacks (WC) over Dodgers (NLW) (3-0)

NL Championship Series Diamondbacks (WC) over Phillies (WC) (4-3)

World Series Rangers (AL) over Diamondbacks (NL) (4-1)

AL Championship Series Rangers (WC) over Astros (ALW) (4-3)

AL Division Series Rangers (WC) over Orioles (ALE) (3-0)

AL Division Series Astros (ALW) over Twins (ALC) (3-1)

AL Wild Card Series Twins (ALC) over Blue Jays (WC3) (2-0)

AL Wild Card Series Rangers (WC2) over Rays (WC1) (2-0)

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