Ross James/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — In one way, the Texas Rangers’ visit to Baltimore to start the next round of the playoffs was a pilgrimage for rookie third baseman Josh Jung. Belying his age (25) and his lack of service time in the bigs, Jung, who is as much of a baseball historian as he is a young phenom, idolized Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson and Brooks Robinson growing up. In the same city that the latter baseball great became an icon with both his clutch hitting and otherworldly defense in the postseason, Jung sparkled with both the bat and glove to keep the Rangers undefeated in the month of October so far.

Jung hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning, the game-winning run in the Rangers’ 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of the American League Division Series inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Another Texas rookie, outfielder Evan Carter, continued his hot hitting in the playoffs by hitting an run-scoring double with one out in the top of the fourth inning for the first run of the game.

Almost as important as any swing in the contest, Jung turned the tide back to the Rangers in the bottom of the eighth inning with his slick fielding as Texas clung to its one-run advantage. After a hit, a wild pitch and a walk put runners on first and second for the Orioles with no one out against reliever Aroldis Chapman, Jung dug out a short hop on a sharp ground ball from Anthony Santander in turning a 5-4-3 double play. Chapman then struck out Ryan Mountcastle to end the threat with the tying run stranded at third base.

Though Andrew Heaney started for the Rangers, and allowed a run on two hits in 3 2/3 innings, the Rangers bullpen went the rest of the way, delivering 5 1/3 innings while allowing a run on three hits combined. Jose Leclerc allowed a hit in the ninth, but recorded the three outs in the inning to earn the save.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesMajor League BaseballMLB PostseasonTexas Rangers

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