Did Rangers’ Adolis García Unwittingly Trigger José Altuve’s Game-Winning Home Run? Astros Take Wild Game 5

Published 10/20/2023, 9:05 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

José Altuve knows how to perform in the clutch. The Houston Astros are no longer floundering for life in the postseason. After a good season, September was surprisingly difficult, but the club knew October was going to be tougher. Rallying to win the division in a nail-biting last week, the Stros were victorious. But then they lost to Texas in the ALCS, yet again.

Not anymore. After letting the Rangers take the lead in the first two ALCS games, H-Town has made a stunning comeback by winning the next three. The latest one had something to do with their veteran slugger, who has once again come through for the team. But did the Rangers’ Adolis García fortuitously ignite the Stros?

Adolis García’s Bench-Clearing Moment Was Huge But José Altuve’s Home Run Was Bigger


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Facing Justin Verlander, Adolis García hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth, giving Texas a 4-2 lead. After the hit, he stopped to admire the moonshot before smashing his bat on the ground in celebration. As expected, Houston was not happy and Astros reliever Bryan Abreu hit him in the ribs on the next pitch in the eighth inning. Accidental? Intentional? Who knows?

García turned to catcher Martín Maldonado as if looking for a fight, and that was it. Benches cleared in a wild, tension-filled moment anyway. The umps were not happy and ejected both players, and Astros manager Dusty Baker, who unhappily protested. It also made Rangers closer José Leclerc wait through the eighth, meaning García iced his own closer.


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Given the situation, it was ruled an intentional HBP by Abreu, despite a baserunner and no outs. Both teams want to win and each player is fighting to win. No one is above a little unruly behavior, or so the umpires thought, anyway. While García was not happy about it, as he later spoke, Maldonado rightly believed it ignited the Astros.

Houston Astros Cruised Forward With Their Trusty Slugger

Who else but José Altuve? The Houston star smashed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to a loud Globe Life Field that mixed cheers and boos. It was the clutch moment everyone expected as Altuve came through, giving Houston its 5-4 lead and a Game 5 victory!


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Leclerc was in disbelief, watching the ball’s trajectory into the stands. Altuve’s 26th postseason career home run clinched a third straight victory for H-Town and the player has now firmly cemented his legend status.


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While Texas is fighting hard for its first-ever World Series win, the reigning champions may just go back to the Fall Classic again.

WATCH THIS STORY – Astros Embroiled in Cheating Controversy Following ALCS Victory


Written by:

Arunima Bhanot


One take at a time

Arunima Bhanot is a senior MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Having penned over 1,000 articles, Arunima has also covered the 2023 World Baseball Classic and the 2023 All-Star Game.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj