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Texas Rangers win first World Series title in franchise history

By David Close, CNN

(CNN) — The Texas Rangers are World Series champions for the first time in the franchise’s 63-season history, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0-Wednesday in Phoenix to secure the title in Game 5.

The Rangers’ win in Phoenix – giving them the best-of-seven series 4 games to 1 – didn’t come easily.

The game was scoreless through six innings, and Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen was dominating, not allowing a hit through those stanzas.

But Rangers starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi also fared well, keeping the Diamondbacks blanked through his six innings of work, despite being under frequent threat. Arizona was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position with Eovaldi on the mound.

And in the seventh inning, the Rangers finally got to Gallen.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager, famed for his clutch World Series performances, broke up the no-hitter in the seventh, and two batters later, Mitch Garver’s single scored Seager for the game’s first run.

The Rangers then pounced on Arizona in the ninth inning, scoring four more runs – highlighted by a monster Marcus Semien 2-run home run off Paul Sewald deep to center field for an unsurmountable 5-0 lead.

“Man, this is the biggest moment,” an emotional Semien told Fox Sports when asked about his home run. “Just felt so good. Just looked over at the bench (and) screamed. Just an unbelievable feeling. I know I keep saying that word, but just to run the bases knowing that we are that much closer felt great.”

The Rangers peaked at just the right time to earn the coveted Commissioner’s Trophy. The club won 11 straight games away from home this postseason – the longest road winning streak in MLB postseason history.

Seager led the way throughout the series for Texas. He was named series MVP, becoming just the fourth player ever to win two World Series MVP awards.

Seager, who won his other award in 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hit three home runs in this series, the most by a shortstop in a Fall Classic. He now has 19 playoff home runs, second most for a shortstop in postseason history, one behind Derek Jeter’s 20.

“I’m just happy to be a part of this team,” Seager said while accepting his award. “The resilience of this group, just the fight, the fight is what it is.”

With this championship, the Rangers’ Bruce Bochy became the sixth manager to win at least four World Series titles. Bochy, who had won three with the San Francisco Giants, came out of retirement to achieve the feat.

“I was sitting on a recliner there in Nashville, just enjoying myself, when he called me,” Bochy said when asked about when Rangers General Manager Chris Young contacted him about getting back into the game. “I’m so honored by these guys. They inspire me with how resilient they’ve been, but to get this call and be part of this, I know how blessed I am. I can’t thank these guys enough.”

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after Wednesday’s game: “This is painful. This is just plain painful. And I can’t quite move past that right now. But I will.

“I told the guys to absorb it and process it the right way. Don’t compartmentalize it; don’t put it away. Think about how you feel when you get to that point, and we’ll get to that crossroads at some point and be able to say, ‘Wow, this was a great run.’”

Former President George W. Bush, who used to have a stake in the Rangers with a group of partners and was the club’s managing general partner from 1989 to 1994, said after the game that he was “thrilled for Texas Rangers fans.”

“I congratulate the owners, the managers and coaching staff, the front office, and the entire organization,” Bush said. “And of course, I congratulate the players of this awesome team on winning the first World Series in our club’s history. This was baseball at its finest, and Laura and I are proud of this team.”

The Rangers appeared in two World Series before this year, losing to the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010 and 2011, respectively. With the Rangers’ win, five teams in Major League Baseball have yet to win a World Series – the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres.

CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to this report.

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