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Rangers stun Astros, make World Series

PHILADELPHIA – The Texas Rangers booked their place in the World Series with a stunning 11-4 thrashing of the defending champion Houston Astros in Major League Baseball’s playoffs on Monday.

Adolis Garcia blasted two home runs, with Corey Seager and Nathaniel Lowe also grabbing homers as Texas romped to a victory that completed its 4-3 American League Championship Series win.

The result means Texas will advance to the World Series for the first time since losing back-to-back appearances in the Fall Classic in 2010 and 2011.

The Rangers are one of six MLB teams never to win the World Series – but are now set to believe anything is possible after demolishing the Astros in ruthless fashion.

Houston had looked poised to return to the World Series for the fifth time since 2017 after overturning a 2-0 series deficit to lead 3-2 after game five last week.

But Texas squared the series with a 9-2 victory on Sunday and then cut loose once more on Monday at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, leaving home fans stunned. Rangers star Seager said Texas had never doubted their ability to win the final two games of the series in Houston to advance.

“This team’s tough,” Seager said. “We were never out of it. We knew what we had in front of us and we took the opportunity.”

Texas will face either the Philadelphia Phillies or the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 1 one of the World Series on Friday.

Arizona kept their National League Championship Series against Philadelphia alive earlier Monday after pitcher Merrill Kelly delivered a gem in a 5-1 victory to force a winner-take-all Game 7.

Arizona right-hander Kelly struck out eight batters for just one run from a Phillies line-up that had not lost at home all postseason before Monday’s defeat at Citizens Bank Park.

Arizona will head into Tuesday’s decider in a confident mood after producing a disciplined performance to frustrate the Phillies’ attempt to wrap up the NLCS.