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HOUSTON -- Adolis Garcia neared home plate and cupped his right hand around his ear, taunting an opposing crowd that had grown increasingly more distraught with every swing of his bat. It was the eighth inning of a blowout, the aftermath of Garcia's third home run in a stretch of six at-bats to conclude this American League Championship Series.

The deafening jeers that had filled Minute Maid Park on Sunday and Monday had faded into a murmur, drowned out by "MVP" chants voiced by the hundreds of those who made the 250-mile drive south from the Texas Rangers' home turf.

The Rangers raced past the defending champion Houston Astros in their own building on Monday night, capturing an 11-4 Game 7 victory to punch their ticket into the World Series. And Garcia had his fingerprints all over it, solidifying MVP honors after a stirring ALCS performance.

Garcia lined a Cristian Javier offering off the top of the left-field scoreboard in the first inning, settling for a single because he admired it too long, then promptly stole second base. In the third, he lofted a fly ball over the right-field fence to give the Rangers their fourth run.

In the fourth, he provided the two-run single that highlighted a four-run inning and helped turn Game 7 into a rout. And in the eighth, he unleashed a towering fly ball that sailed into the Crawford Boxes and essentially ended the Astros, denying them their third consecutive World Series appearance. Garcia finished the ALCS with 15 RBIs, a record for any postseason series. The Rangers, who will host the winner of Tuesday's decisive National League Championship Series game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, are the fourth team to reach the World Series within two years of losing 100 games.


Join ESPN102.3/AM 1000 KSOO for game 7 of the NLCS on Tuesday. Coverage begins at 6:30 PM.

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