Rangers win Game 3 of World Series, but Garcia, Scherzer leave with injuries
(AP photo/Brynn Anderson)
PHOENIX — At one point Monday afternoon, a tweet surfaced that Jon Gray would be starting Game 4 of the World Series for the Texas Rangers. The first question to him in his pregame media availability was asked under the assumption that he would start.
The Rangers, though, had sent a text to the beat writers saying that wasn’t necessarily the case. Gray later said he hadn’t been told anything.
Well, he’s definitely not pitching Game 4.
But the big question after Gray helped pitch the Rangers to a 3-1 Game 3 victory is if Adolis Garcia will be available the rest of the Fall Classic. Max Scherzer, too. And maybe Josh Sborz.
Garcia, the MVP of the American League Championship Series left in the eighth inning with tightness in his left side, and Scherzer left before the fourth inning with back stiffness.
Fortunately for the Rangers, their offense had done enough in the third inning with three two-out runs, the first on a single by Marcus Semien and two more on the next pitch as Corey Seager connected for his fifth home run of the postseason.
The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday night. They will look to build up on the MLB record they set Monday night with their ninth consecutive playoff road victory as left-hander Andrew Heaney gets the start.
“We’re just showing up to play every day,” Seager said. “We’re trying to win that day. No matter where you are we’re trying to play good baseball every day.”
Scherzer opened with two scoreless innings, thanks to Garcia throwing out Christian Walker at home in the seocnd inning. He tossed a scoreless third but left after his first warmup toss before the fourth.
He had been hit the second inning by an Alex Thomas hard chopper but in the elbow. He said his back starting barking in the third.
“I’m in full spasm. It’s locked up pretty good,” Scherzer said afterward. “I’ve had spasms before. The way this kind of goes, it’ll be sore tomorrow but it’s the second day. The second day will let you know where this is at.”
His exit brought Gray into the game for this third appearance of the postseason.
He had last pitched Monday, when he impressed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 with a devastating fastball-slider combination. Gray made easy work of the Diamondbacks on Monday, retiring the first eight before Ketel Marte’s line drive when in an out of Semien’s glove for a single.
“I love it,” Gray said. “This is the most important time of the year for us and to contribute to us winning … it’s a huge confidence booster.”
Sborz pitched into the eighth but was visited at the mound by athletic trainer Matt Lucero in the seventh after slipping on the mound. Sborz said he felt something in the same hamstring that put him on the injured list in September and was just buying some time to make sure he didn’t make it worse.
He expects to be sore Tuesday but able to pitch.
The Diamondbacks scored their run in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman, as they opened with a double and a single. Chapman, though, struck out Corbin Carroll and watched as Seager made a diving stop at shortstop to trigger an inning-ending double play.
“Huge,” Semien said. “Corey’s been playing great defense. I think he deserves a Gold Glove this year. For him to be in the World Series and make that play in the biggest moment of the game when they were rallying, it’s a big dagger for them.”
Jose Leclerc retired the Diamondbacks in order in the ninth, though it wasn’t easy, for his fourth save of the postseason.
The medical staff is up next.
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org