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Rangers edge Orioles 3-2, take Game 1 of ALDS

BALTIMORE — Josh Jung homered, Evan Carter reached base three times and the Texas Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Saturday.

Game 2 is set for 4:07 p.m. ET on Sunday.

“It’s always good to get the first one. It’s best out-of-five, though, we know that,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “Come in here and get the first one off a really good team. These guys found a way to get it done.”

Carter had an RBI double, two walks and scored a run. The 21-year-old outfielder has reached base safely in 10 of 12 plate appearances this postseason to help Texas win all three games it has played.

He became the first player in Major League Baseball history to record an extra-base hit, walk and run scored in each of his first three career postseason games.

“He’s a gifted hitter, he’s got a great eye at the plate,” Bochy said. “We move him to the 5 hole and didn’t faze him one bit. Goes out there and took some great at-bats, which we needed off this (pitching) staff.”

Anthony Santander had a homer, single, walk and scored twice for Baltimore, the top seed in the AL playoffs. The Orioles were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

“That’s a tough team to beat if you score two runs,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We did a great job on the mound, the three runs. We didn’t have the offense today, we didn’t create traffic.”

Six Texas pitchers combined on a five hitter. Andrew Heaney started for the Rangers and allowed a run on two hits in 3 2/3 innings. Dane Dunning (1-0) allowed one run in two innings. Jose Leclerc pitched the ninth for the save.

Gunnar Henderson led off the inning with a single but was caught trying to steal second.

“He was getting a big lead,” Texas catcher Jonah Heim said. “We know they like to run, and (Leclerc) gave me a good pitch to throw on and the result was good.”

Orioles starter Kyle Bradish (0-1) gave up two runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and recorded nine of Baltimore’s 16 strikeouts.

The start of the game was delayed 73 minutes by rain.

Back-to-back doubles by Adolis Garcia and Carter with one out in the fourth inning gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Jonah Heim followed with a line drive single just beyond the reach of a diving Henderson at shortstop and the lead was 2-0. Nathaniel Lowe singled and, with two outs, Leody Tavares singled to load the bases, but Bradish struck out Marcus Semien to end the inning.

The Orioles answered in their half when Santander walked and came all the way around on Ryan Mountcastle’s double into the left-field corner. With two outs, Dunning came on and walked Aaron Hicks before getting pinch-hitter Adam Frazier to pop out.

“I think we came out pretty solid today,” Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins said. “I think we came out with a lot of energy, ready to go. Had a string of good swings, just not a string of hits. I think that was the biggest issue today.”

With one out in the Texas sixth, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde brought in right-hander Jacob Webb to face righty Jung and the rookie homered to center on a 1-1 fastball to make it 3-1.

Santander homered to right center with one out in the sixth to pull the Orioles within 3-2.

Austin Hays and Adley Rutschman drew walks against Aroldis Chapman leading off the eighth, but Santander grounded into a double play and Mountcastle struck out.

–Harvey Valentine, Field Level Media

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