ROAD RANGERS: Texas wins 9th straight playoff game away from home

Early rally carries Rangers to 3-1 win and 2-1 World Series edge

HIGHLIGHTS: Texas 3, Diamondbacks 1

PHOENIX — Corey Seager’s two-run homer capped a three-run third inning and led the Texas Rangers to a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 3 of the World Series on Monday night.

Despite the early exit of starter Max Scherzer, the Rangers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played Tuesday night in Phoenix.

With Texas up 1-0 after a two-out, run-scoring single from Marcus Semien, Seager hit his second home run of the World Series and his fifth of the postseason, this one off Diamondbacks starter Brandon Pfaadt.

Pfaadt, a rookie, had been impressive in his three most recent postseason starts, allowing only two runs allowed over 14 innings to go with 18 strikeouts. But Seager connected on a first-pitch changeup that was high in the strike zone, and the ball sailed into the seats in right field, moments after a meeting on the mound among the Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks Download: Torey Lovullo on Game 3 home loss to the Rangers

Scherzer pitched three scoreless innings before exiting with what was announced as back tightness. Scherzer, facing his former team, had been struck by a ball hit up the middle by the Diamondbacks’ Alek Thomas in the second inning.

Scherzer gave up two hits with two walks while striking out one.

Jon Gray, who had been considered by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to start Game 4, entered Game 3 in relief and earned the win. Gray (1-0) tossed three shutout innings and allowed only one hit. He fanned three without issuing a walk.

Pfaadt (0-1) lasted 5 1/3 innings, and he yielded three runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked two.

The Diamondbacks had the first real scoring opportunity of the game in the bottom of the second inning, when Christian Walker led off with a double. Tommy Pham lined a base hit into right field, and Walker ran through a stop sign from the third base coach and was thrown out at the plate by Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia.

Garcia left the game with left side tightness after flying out to end the top of the eighth.

Rangers react to taking a 2-1 World Series lead over Arizona

The sellout crowd of 48,517 didn’t have much to cheer about for seven innings, with the Rangers shutting down a Diamondbacks offense that scored 14 runs in the first two games of the series.

The Diamondbacks broke through in the eighth against the Rangers’ Aroldis Chapman. Pinch hitter Emmanuel Rivera hit an opposite-field double to lead off the inning, and Geraldo Perdomo singled in Rivera.

Chapman limited the damage to that single run. He struck out Corbin Carroll, then got Ketel Marte to hit into an inning-ending double play that started with a sliding stop from Seager at shortstop.

Marte extended his postseason game hitting streak to 19 games, the longest such streak in postseason history. He had one of six Arizona hits.

Jose Leclerc pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the postseason for the Rangers, who finished with five hits.

–Jose M. Romero, Field Level Media