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Wednesday newsletter time: Corey Seager sits again as Dodgers blow out Rangers

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Corey Seager met with the Los Angeles media Tuesday upon his first series at Dodger Stadium as a visiting player. The problem was that he wasn’t in the lineup for the opener of the Rangers’ three-game series against the Dodgers.

But he said his left hamstring is trending the right way after two team off days and four straight games on the bench. Manager Bruce Bochy said that he expects Seager to play in this series.

With the Rangers able to backdate an IL move only three days, they might as well keep Seager off of it.

The Rangers, of course, need the All-Star shortstop in their lineup, which continues to underperform. Once the Dodgers scored their sixth run Tuesday, everyone watching in Texas could have gone to bed.

The Dodgers did win, 15-2, and the Rangers have lost the first game of nine straight series of at least three games.

That’s a staggering number. The 15 runs, too.

“These games are no fun,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

The misfiring offense has a hand in the series-opener funk, and Seager has been available for most of the losses. He did plenty last month to carry the offense, including 11 home runs, and was running out an RBI single last Wednesday when injured.

He will help the lineup once healthy, and Dodgers fans hope it happens by Thursday. The Dodgers treated him to a video tribute before the game, and fans gave him a warm ovation Tuesday.

Seager was drafted by the Dodgers in 2012 (first round, 18th overall) and spent the first seven seasons of his career with them. He acknowledged the applause by coming out of the Rangers’ dugout and waving to the crowd.

The fans had plenty to cheer once the game started, and it didn’t take long.

Dunning done in

Right-hander Dane Dunning allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings, the first three coming in the first inning on a Will Smith home run. Dunning has allowed 11 long balls this season in 54 1/3 innings, another staggering number.

Dunning was in the dugout when the final three runs charged to him scored after Jonathan Hernandez allowed a bases-clearing double to Mookie Betts.

“Dane was pitching without his best command,” Bochy said. “He worked hard, and his pitches caught up with him there.”

Jon Gray will start tonight, his first since coming off the injured list Saturday. He worked in relief that night as a tune-up for the Dodgers.

He won’t be tossing a complete game, and the Rangers have some protection behind him if he can’t go more than three or four innings. Jose Ureña is available to work multiple innings in what would be his return to the bullpen after a month of quality work in the rotation.

With Max Scherzer making a rehab start Friday and possibly returning to the rotation next week, another starter will have to go to the bullpen. Dunning looks like the leading candidate, or at least he did Tuesday night.

 

Reinforcements coming?

Hernandez and fellow right-hander Grant Anderson weren’t very good in relief of Dunning, and that’s being kind to Anderson.

He surrendered back-to-back homers to Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman and another two batters later to Teoscar Hernandez and another three batters later to Jason Heyward. The Dodgers turned a 7-1 lead into a 14-1 lead.

It was worse than it sounds.

Anderson was left in to take one for the team, and he could take another today.  The Rangers could use a fresh bullpen arm, despite using Knizner, and Cole Winn could be recalled from Triple A Round Rock while Anderson is optioned.

Winn was sent to Round Rock on May 22, and he has allowed two runs in 8 1/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed any runs in his past four outings.

He told the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast on May 31 that he was told to work on expanding the strike zone when ahead in the count. He was throwing too many strikes when ahead in the count.

Catcher Andrew Knizner also took one for the team, pitching in relief. He actually worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, covering first on a grounder to Nathaniel Lowe.

“I hate using a position player,” Bochy said. “But we had to keep our bullpen in order on the first game of a road trip.”

Doggy video!

Good news for the Mavs. Enjoy.

Watch today’s video here.

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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