Adolis does more than bat flip on his massive walk-off HR

Garver (4-for-4) goes yard twice before García calls game with 430-foot blast

September 4th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- Time and time again since joining the Rangers, has come through in the big moments.

On Sunday afternoon, for once, it felt like García couldn’t buy a hit. Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the outfielder was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, three of which came with runners in scoring position.

But García did exactly what he’s done so many times before, launching a walk-off solo homer to help the Rangers beat the Twins, 6-5, and avoid a sweep at Globe Life Field.

Games remaining: vs HOU (3); vs OAK (3); at TOR (4); at CLE (3); vs BOS (3); vs SEA (3); at LAA (3); at SEA (4)

Standings update: With Houston and Seattle both losing on Sunday, the Rangers are tied with the Astros for second place in the American League West, one game behind the first-place Mariners. Texas also holds the third AL Wild Card spot by 1 1/2 games over Toronto.

It wasn't García’s signature bat flip that followed his blast this time. Instead of watching the ball like he normally would, the 30-year-old slugger stopped and stared at the sky, letting out what looked like a huge sigh of relief before grabbing at the Rangers logo on his jersey and rounding the bases.

It was as if the weight of the world was lifted off García’s shoulders after he hit just .153 over his previous 15 games.

“You saw the relief at home plate,” manager Bruce Bochy said of García, who wasn't available for comment after the game. “You strike out four times -- that's a lot of pressure on you, especially when you're up there with two strikes. I'm sure the pressure was mounting, and he's not feeling good about his day at that point, but he got ahold of one. Good for him, good for us, and again, that's one of the biggest home runs we've had all year.”

“We had a really good feeling that he was about to do something like that,” said. “He’s going to swing the bat, and he’s a special player when he makes contact with it. I've been in a situation before where I’m 0-for-4 with four punches. It's not easy. For him to come out there and stay with it and just keep going forward and get the result that he did, I couldn't be happier.”

It was a back-and-forth affair in Arlington on Sunday, with Texas hopping out to a three-run lead in the first inning on a three-run blast from Garver. Every time the Rangers went ahead, the Twins found a way to tie it back up. The game was tied at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 at various points before García’s game-winning solo shot.

García may have stolen the show, but Garver had a career day himself.

Garver’s four hits tied a career high, which he did three times as a member of the Twins. He also tallied his second two-homer game of the season and the ninth of his career. Both of his home runs gave the Rangers a lead.

The four-hit day continued a hot stretch for Garver, who is hitting .319/.421/.655 with 11 homers, five doubles and 23 RBIs over his past 33 games (beginning July 24). Over that stretch, he raised his season OPS from .719 to .908.

“It’s confidence,” Garver said. “I’m getting good pitches to hit, trusting my approach and feeling comfortable. … I’m really not trying to do too much when I'm up there. I'm not thinking about those opportunities. Results are going to come from a good process and a good game plan. 

“The past two months, I've been trying to hit the ball hard, somewhere to the middle part of the field. That gives you a lot of wiggle room for misses. It allows you to keep a simpler approach, a clearer mind, and not get too clouded with trying to do something in a big moment.”

Though Texas dropped the series against Minnesota, it was important to get a big win to close it out and give the club momentum to carry into a three-game set with Houston to wrap up the Silver Boot Series.

The Rangers are 4-6 against the Astros this season. With head-to-head records serving as the first tiebreaker in the standings, the upcoming series could be a determining factor in playoff seeding come October.

“It's just a big win for these guys,” Bochy said. “We've been through a lot and played a lot of baseball, but this is the one that I thought we really, really needed. … To win this one is a good way to go into a big series. It's going to be a really exciting series. We’re looking forward to it. I'm sure they are.”