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Marcus Semien, Kirby Yates to represent Rangers in All-Star Game

(Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)

 

ARLINGTON — Second baseman Marcus Semien and closer Kirby Yates were selected Sunday as reserves on the American League All-Star team and will represent the Rangers in the 94th Midsummer Classic on July 16 at their home ballpark.

A trio of players — third baseman Josh Smith, shortstop Corey Seager and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi — could still make the team as alternates depending on injuries or pitcher usage.

Semien, the reigning AL Silver Slugger winner at second base, will be making his third appearance in the All-Star Game and Yates will be making his second.

“It’s awesome, both of them,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who will lead the AL team. “We’re still hoping for a couple guys to get on.”

Semien was selected even though his average (.229) and OPS (.673) have tumbled the past month during an extended skid. Yates, meanwhile, has been one of the steadiest relievers in the league with a 0.86 ERA and 13 saves since taking over the ninth inning in April.

“It’s always an honor,” Semien said. “It’ll definitely be a first for me to be on the hosting team. I’m looking forward to our fans being able to take in a great show.”

For Yates, who was also an All-Star in 2019, the selection comes three years after he underwent Tommy John surgery. He is one of four relievers on the AL team and at 37 years old is the fifth-oldest Rangers All-Star.

“I am excited,” he said. “I’m very proud of myself. I think there will be more emotions this week.”

Yates wasn’t needed Sunday as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Rays with a 13-2 victory that was fueled by Eovaldi and Seager.

Eovaldi allowed two runs in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 3.10, and Seager launched a three-run homer in a six-run fourth. He leads with Rangers with 16 home runs is second in with an .825 OPS.

Smith leads the Rangers in average (.292), doubles (19), on-base percentage (.381) and OPS (.829). He entered Sunday leading AL third basemen in average and OBP, was second in doubles, fourth in OPS and tied for fourth in fWAR.

“It’s upsetting not getting in, but I’m happy for Kirby and Marcus,” Smith said. “At this point, I’m not really worried about it. I’m just proud of the way I played in the first half.”

The Rangers had six All-Stars last year at Seattle, and five starters: Seager, Semien, Josh Jung, Jonah Heim and Adolis Garcia. Eovaldi pitched the second inning as the Rangers became only the third team in MLB history with six players in the All-Star Game at the same time.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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