MLB playoffs 2023: Rangers rally, force ALCS Game 7 with 9-2 victory over Astros in Game 6

ALCS Game 7 is Monday in Houston. The winner will play in the World Series.

The Rangers forced a Game 7 in the ALCS with a 9-2 victory in Game 6 on Sunday, thanks to some shutdown pitching from Nathan Eovaldi, and clutch and plentiful hitting from the middle of the lineup.

Game 7 is Monday in Houston.

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros, ALCS Game 6: Rangers 9, Astros 2 (Series tied 3-3)

Game summary:

The home team still hasn't won a game in this series.

The Astros went ahead in the first inning of Game 6, scoring a run on some singles and a walk. But Nathan Eovaldi shut them down from there, allowing just two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He's now 4-0 in this postseason.

Through eight innings, the Rangers plated four runs to the Astros' two, led mostly by Mitch Garver (more on that below). In the ninth, they made it so that the final score was not at all reflective of how tight Sunday's game really was.

A walk, fielding error, single and hit by pitch made it 5-2 before a single out had been recorded. Then Adolis García released all the frustration of the previous three games with a mammoth grand slam that ensured there would be a Game 7.

Impact player:

In what was a close game until the very end, Mitch Garver contributed to the Rangers' first four runs on the night.

He got his team rolling in the second with a homer that prevented the Astros from really gaining momentum. In the fourth, he singled with two outs and then scored on Jonah Heim's home run that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

In the eighth, Garver doubled in Evan Carter to make it 4-2 Rangers.

Key moment:

In his first outing since the blown save in Game 5, José Leclerc was asked to get as many as five outs in Game 6, coming in with two on, one out and his team ahead 4-2 in the eighth.

First, Leclerc walked Alex Bregman to load the bases and put the go-ahead run at first. Then, he eliminated the threat with a lineout from Mauricio Dubón and a strikeout of Jon Singleton. On to the ninth.

The five-spot from the Rangers in the next half-inning meant Leclerc's night ended up being much easier than expected, but that doesn't happen without him keeping the Astros in check the inning before.

What's next?

Game 7 begins at 8:03 p.m. ET Monday. Max Scherzer will get the ball for the Rangers, while Cristian Javier will take the mound for the hosting Astros.

The winner advances to the World Series. The loser heads home for the offseason.