At long last, Arlington is home to the World Series champions.
The Texas Rangers clinched their first World Series title in the franchise’s 63-year history with a 5-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field to take the series in five games.
Texas went an MLB postseason record 11-0 on the road en route to the championship.
Josh Sborz, who earned the save with 2.1 innings of flawless relief, struck out D-Backs second baseman Ketel Marte to set off the celebration.
D-Backs starter Zac Gallen was brilliant, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Texas finally broke through. Corey Seager, the World Series MVP, broke up the no-no by slapping a single through the open left side of the infield before scoring the winning run two batters later on Mitch Garver’s RBI single.
Texas added some insurance with a four-run ninth off Arizona closer Paul Sewald. Jonah Heim’s single, aided by an Alek Thomas error, plated two, and Marcus Semien put the finishing touches on the title with a two-run homer. Semien’s blast extended the Rangers’ single-playoff record streak of games with a homer to 16, now the third-longest playoff homer streak overall, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Semien and Seager, the Rangers’ $500-million middle-infield combination, each had two hits and scored a run. Rookie Evan Carter also added a double, his ninth of the playoffs to set a new single-postseason record.
Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi worked around plenty of trouble to throw six innings of four-hit shutout ball. Eovaldi became the first pitcher to win six games in a single playoff run.
The D-Backs threatened at various points during the game but were unable to bring home a run. They left 11 runners on base and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
The Rangers franchise – established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, 11 years before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex – has known plenty of heartache during its 63 years. It took the club 35 years to reach the playoffs and another 14 seasons before winning a round. Both of the team’s previous World Series appearances, in 2010 and ’11, ended in heartbreaking losses.
The Rangers are the first team in MLB history to win a World Series the year after finishing at least 25 games below .500, according to OptaStats. They’re also the third team to win a title within two years of a 100-loss season, joining the 1914 Boston Braves and 1969 “Miracle” New York Mets.
Their victory leaves only five active MLB teams – the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, and Milwaukee Brewers – without a World Series title. Of those five, only the Mariners have failed to win a league pennant.
Manager Bruce Bochy added another chapter to his future Hall of Fame resume with the win. The 68-year-old, who came out of retirement this past winter to take over the Rangers, joined legendary skippers Tony La Russa and Sparky Anderson as the third manager to win a World Series in both leagues. Bochy won three rings with the San Francisco Giants, the first of which came against the Rangers in 2010.
Bochy also became just the sixth manager to win four rings, joining Hall of Famers Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, Connie Mack, Walter Alston, and Joe Torre.
“It’s unreal. I just can’t count my blessings enough, to be part of this group, ownership, front office, this group of determined men that were so resilient all year,” Bochy said, per MLB Network.
Rangers reliever Will Smith also made history, becoming the first player to win a ring with three different teams in three consecutive seasons. He’s the first athlete to accomplish that feat in any of the four major North American sports leagues, according to Langs.