PHOENIX (AP) — Christian Walker ran through a stop sign and right into a costly out in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the World Series.
Missing a late signal from third base coach Tony Perezchica, Walker was thrown out at the plate by a perfect throw from right fielder Adolis García in the second inning Monday night.
Walker — 3 for 31 since the start of the NL Championship Series entering Game 3 — was encouraged by a standing ovation when he came to bat and answered with Arizona’s first hit off Texas starter Max Scherzer. His double off the base of the wall in right-center had Arizona primed to snap a scoreless tie, especially when Tommy Phan followed with a single to right.
Perezchica intially waved for Walker to turn for home. Walker put his head down to touch third base and didn’t see Perezchica change the signal to stop as he rounded the bag. García got to the ball quickly and made a one-hop throw to catcher Jonah Heim, beating Walker by several steps.
Garcia’s throw of 96.4 mph was the second-fastest tracked outfield assist directly home in the postseason under Statcast (2015), behind only the 97.4 mph throw by Houston’s Marwin González in Game 1 of the 2017 ALCS.
Two batters later, Alek Thomas grounded a ball off Scherzer’s right elbow, and Rangers third baseman Josh Jung barehanded the deflection, beating Thomas by a step at first to end the inning.
Texas scored three runs off Brandon Pfaadt the next inning, two on Corey Seager’s no-doubt homer to right. Texas leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 Tuesday in Arizona.
Walker led the Diamondbacks with 33 homers during the regular season, but he has struggled at the plate during the postseason. He was hitting .167 with a homer and seven RBIs in 14 playoff games before the double off Scherzer.
Walker finished 1 for 4 in Game 3.
The two-time Gold Glove winner has been stellar at first base in the playoffs, including a barehanded grab after a hard-hit ball by Heim hit the first base bag in Game 2.