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Texas Rangers set for 2024 road debut after last year’s record 11-0 postseason run

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The last time the Texas Rangers headed to Tampa Bay for a game, they were coming off a loss in their regular-season finale that cost them the AL West title and made them a wild-card team.

This time, the World Series champs take an 11-game road winning streak back to where that MLB-record postseason run started last October.

Texas’ road opener Monday night is the start of a three-game set against the Rays.

“I do,” reliever Josh Sborz said when asked if he remembered what it was like to lose on the road. “And I know last regular season we weren’t very good on the road.”

A loss at Seattle in the regular-season finale left the Rangers at 40-41 away from home and sent them on a cross-country flight right over Dallas-Fort Worth for an AL Wild Card Series at the Rays.

The Rangers won twice there, then twice more in Baltimore before completing an AL Division Series sweep of the Orioles with a victory in Arlington.

The road team won all seven games in the AL Championships Series, with the Rangers taking Game 7 in Houston. Texas swept three in Arizona to complete a five-game victory over the Diamondbacks in the World Series.

“I had some friends that came over for the games there in Tampa last year,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’ll come back over. So I’m sure we’ll talk about it. That’s the beauty of this game. There’s things that trigger those memories. When you get to those parks, and there’s Baltimore, I’m sure the same when we play Houston.”

The Rangers got their World Series rings while winning two of three against the Chicago Cubs in the season-opening series at Globe Life Field.

Under the ring’s removable and reversible face with a pair of “T” logos loaded with rubies and sapphires, “11-0” and “road dominance” are inscribed. There are 11 stones inside one of the logos to represent all those road victories.

Sborz, who recorded the final out of the World Series, was asked if he’ll think about that magical road run before the Rangers play the first of 81 scheduled games away from home this season.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a perfect record in the regular season,” the right-hander said. “Just kind of stay relaxed and don’t get lost in the moment or the length of the season. I think that’s what we did such a great job of was just kind of enjoying our time in (the clubhouse), having fun and then when we went to the game, always turned it on.”

Right-hander Dane Dunning is scheduled to get the first road start for the Rangers.

“That was, I mean, unbelievable,” Dunning said about last year’s run. “That team just had something about ’em that just kind of set us off. From top to bottom, everyone was pulling from the same side of the rope.”

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AP Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

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