HOUSTON -- Adolis Garcia stood at home plate to watch his ninth-inning grand slam soar toward the Crawford Boxes in left field at Minute Maid Park on Sunday night, and in that moment, the perspective of everyone in the building seemed to shift.

The Texas Rangers players could exhale, having taken control of a tense Game 6 that they would go on to win 9-2. Houston Astros fans immediately flooded the aisles to get out of the ballpark. And Astros players made three outs on four pitches in the bottom of the ninth inning, perhaps in a hurry to move on to the deciding Game 7 of an American League Championship Series that has been wholly dominated by the visiting teams.

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The home team has lost every game in this series. The only other time that has happened in the first six games of a best-of-seven series in MLB history was in the 2019 World Series -- which was lost by the Astros and won by the Washington Nationals, whose Game 7 starter will be the same guy who will start Monday night for Texas, Max Scherzer, the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Nathan Eovaldi started for the Rangers in Game 6 and lived up to his long history of postseason success, allowing two runs over 6⅓ innings and becoming only the third pitcher ever to collect eight wins in his first 10 postseason starts.

When Rangers players spoke late Sunday in anticipation of Game 7, it was as if uttering Scherzer's name alone carried the weight of implied excellence.

The Astros' Cristian Javier threw the bulk of a no-hitter in the World Series last year. This year, he will start the Game 7 that Houston needs to have a chance to win back-to-back championships.


Listen for game 7 of the ALCS on ESPN 102.3/AM 1000 KSOO.

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