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Merrill Kelly Shines on the Mound as Arizona Diamondbacks Even World Series with 9-1 Win Over Texas Rangers

by Madison Thomas
9 comments
World Series

Merrill Kelly delivered a stellar three-hit performance over seven innings, while Ketel Marte prolonged his postseason hitting streak to an unprecedented 18 games, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks decisively defeat the Texas Rangers 9-1 on Saturday evening. The victory levels the World Series at one game each.

In a strong rebound from a heartbreaking loss the previous night, Gabriel Moreno blasted a crucial home run during a two-run fourth inning against Jordan Montgomery. Tommy Pham contributed a flawless 4 for 4 at the plate, including two doubles, further energizing the resurgent Diamondbacks.

Marte, by notching a two-run single in the eighth inning, surpassed the previous record for the longest postseason hitting streak, a record he formerly shared with Derek Jeter, Manny Ramírez, and Hank Bauer. Remarkably, Marte has secured a hit in every postseason game he has participated in.

Shaking off the disappointment of squandering a ninth-inning, two-run lead in an 11-inning 6-5 loss the night before, Arizona outclassed Texas with a 16-4 hit differential and maintained the lead throughout the game. The 16 hits set a new high for a Series game in nearly a decade.

Other contributors included Emmanuel Rivera, who also had a two-run single, and rookie Corbin Carroll who contributed with two RBI singles. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and veteran Evan Longoria each registered an RBI single for Arizona, marking the team’s first World Series road victory after a string of four defeats since 2001.

This World Series, only the third ever to feature wild-card teams, will continue with Game 3 on Monday in Arizona, marking the first Series game to be played in Phoenix since 2001.

Kelly’s commanding presence on the mound saw him strike out nine batters without issuing a single walk and facing just one three-ball count. The lone run he allowed came from Mitch Garver’s leadoff home run in the fifth inning.

Having spent six seasons in the minor leagues and a stint in South Korea from 2015-18, Kelly made his MLB debut only in 2019. He reflected on the long journey to this point, crediting the Arizona organization for the opportunity. His regular-season performance was noteworthy with a 12-8 record and a 3.29 ERA in 30 starts, and he has a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in four postseason starts.

Tommy Pham, acquired at the trade deadline from the New York Mets, broke his 3-for-29 slump with a commendable performance. He managed to get on base with a single and two opposite-field doubles and another single, despite being caught off second base by Montgomery.

Jordan Montgomery, who entered with an undefeated 3-0 postseason record, saw his velocity drop by approximately 1.5 mph compared to his seasonal average. Arizona batters made contact on 35 out of the 37 pitches they swung at.

Moreno seized the lead for Arizona when Montgomery mistakenly centered a full-count curveball. Moreno promptly deposited the pitch into Arizona’s bullpen in left-center, giving him a total of four postseason home runs and 10 RBIs in 14 games. A Pham double and Gurriel single pushed the lead to 2-0.

By the seventh, Arizona had extended their lead to 4-1, thanks to an RBI single from veteran Evan Longoria and additional contributions from Alek Thomas, Geraldo Perdomo, and Corbin Carroll.

Looking ahead, Texas will send Max Scherzer, who has struggled in the postseason with a 0-1 record and a 9.45 ERA, to the mound for Game 3. On the other side, rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who has a 2.70 ERA in the postseason but is yet to secure a decision, will take the mound for Arizona.

Additional sources can be found at AP MLB: https://bigbignews.net/mlb

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about World Series

What was the final score of the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers game?

The final score was a decisive 9-1 victory for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Texas Rangers.

Who was the standout player for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Merrill Kelly was the standout player, delivering a stellar three-hit performance over seven innings.

What significant record did Ketel Marte achieve?

Ketel Marte extended his postseason hitting streak to a record 18 games, surpassing previous records held by Derek Jeter, Manny Ramírez, and Hank Bauer.

How did the Arizona Diamondbacks rebound from their previous defeat?

The Diamondbacks rebounded with a 16-4 hit differential against the Rangers, maintaining the lead throughout the game and marking their first World Series road victory since 2001.

What is noteworthy about this World Series matchup?

This World Series is only the third ever to feature wild-card teams. The series will continue with Game 3 in Arizona, marking the first World Series game in Phoenix since 2001.

How did Merrill Kelly perform this regular season and postseason?

Kelly had a regular-season record of 12-8 with a 3.29 ERA in 30 starts. In the postseason, he has a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in four starts.

Who are the other key contributors for the Diamondbacks in this game?

Gabriel Moreno hit a crucial home run, Tommy Pham went 4 for 4, and Emmanuel Rivera and Corbin Carroll each had multiple-RBI singles. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Evan Longoria each added an RBI single as well.

What was Jordan Montgomery’s performance like?

Jordan Montgomery, who entered with a 3-0 postseason record, struggled with decreased velocity and allowed Arizona batters to make contact on 35 out of 37 pitches they swung at.

Who is slated to pitch for both teams in Game 3?

Texas will send Max Scherzer, who has a 0-1 postseason record and a 9.45 ERA. Arizona will counter with rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who has a 2.70 ERA but is yet to secure a postseason decision.

Where can additional sources and updates be found?

Additional sources and updates on the game can be found at AP MLB: https://bigbignews.net/mlb

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9 comments

TomE October 29, 2023 - 6:11 am

Game 3 is gonna be so lit. Scherzer vs Pfaadt, I can’t wait!

Reply
MikeD October 29, 2023 - 6:15 am

Wow, who saw that comin? Kelly was on fire last night. Rangers didn’t stand a chance!

Reply
JuliaR October 29, 2023 - 8:04 am

Jordan Montgomery, what happened man? 3-0 in postseason and then this. His velocity was off too.

Reply
VanessaW October 29, 2023 - 1:16 pm

I’ve been following Marte for a while now, breaking a tie with Jeter and Ramirez? He’s carving his name in the history books for sure.

Reply
SammyQ October 29, 2023 - 2:08 pm

16 hits for the Diamondbacks? that’s some solid batting. Way to bounce back from that agonizing defeat.

Reply
LarryG October 29, 2023 - 4:41 pm

I gotta say, those young players like Moreno and Carroll are really making their mark this postseason. Good to see new blood stepping up.

Reply
ChrisP October 29, 2023 - 4:52 pm

Lookin at Kelly’s history, who would’ve thought he’d dominate like this in the World Series. Dreams do come true, folks.

Reply
SandyH October 29, 2023 - 7:32 pm

Ketel Marte is a beast, 18 game hit streak in the postseason? That’s just insane.

Reply
FrankTheTank October 29, 2023 - 10:18 pm

Arizona’s finally stepping up in the World Series. They’ve been waiting for this since 2001, bout time!

Reply

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