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Tuesday newsletter time: Corey Seager delivers as Rangers rally again

(Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports)

 

A good team finds a way to win games when it looks like a sure L is coming.

The Rangers, despite hanging around .500 the past month, are a good team.

Good hitters come through when their team needs them.

Corey Seager, despite his .227 average, is a good hitter.

His big swing late helped lift the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the pesky A’s, who were on their way to a series-opening win at varmint-infested Oakland Coliseum.

But Seager launched a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning as the Rangers won for the second straight day despite trailing 2-0 entering the eighth.

“You’ve got to be able to find a way to win,” Seager said. “This team’s really good at that. It’s the same pillars. We’re going to come out and play every day, and we’re going to compete.”

The offense floundered for the first seven innings for the second straight game, but Josh Smith took a walk to start the eighth and Leody Taveras singled with one out.

After Marcus Semien lined out softly, Seager saw six straight changeups from Lucas Erceg. The sixth caught too much plate, and Seager lifted it out to center field.

“We just couldn’t do much offensively,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “They kept fighting. That’s why you play hard for nine innings. They’re pros. They don’t get down, even though we couldn’t get much going. You keep battling.”

Andrew Heaney did his job again, keeping the Rangers in the game through six innings. He didn’t get much help from his outfielders, who failed to secure three catchable balls.

Ezequiel Duran, playing left field, dropped one and was tagged with a throwing error. Leody Taveras and Adolis Garcia later miscommunicated on what turned into a single, and Taveras saw a ball hit off his glove at the center-field wall that was scored a double to start the seventh.

Only one of the two runs Heaney allowed was earned. He also didn’t walk a batter for the second straight start, which has been the key to his turnaround. Jon Gray also has back-to-back starts with no walks.

Jose Leclerc finished off the seventh for Heaney, and David Robinson pitched a perfect eighth following the Seager homer. The Rangers added an unearned run in the eighth, which gave Kirby Yates some breathing room in the ninth.

Working despite pitching two innings Sunday, Yates issued a one-out walk, and the game ended on a line-drive double play to first baseman Nathaniel Lowe.

A save is a save, and Yates has six of those.

Seager now has three homers. He has hit some balls hard during his skid, just right at defenders, but he hasn’t done it enough.

He had enough at the right time Monday night.

“Fortunately, I got a good pitch to hit, and I put a good swing on it,” Seager said.

Good injury news

Nathan Eovaldi doesn’t have a sports hernia, Bochy told reporters, and the right-hander could be back in the starting rotation when first eligible to come off the injured list or a few days later.

Eovaldi traveled to New York on Monday to see a specialist, who didn’t see anything more than a slightly strained right groin. Eovaldi was injured Thursday and left his start after 5 1/3 innings. He didn’t seem particularly bothered by it after the game, though his grimace after he threw his 92nd and final pitch caught the Rangers’ eye.

He and Bochy said afterward that they would be cautious. OK, maybe they give him 20 days instead of the 15 he’s required to spend on the IL.

Max Scherzer, meanwhile, continues to wait for his thumb/forearm issue to go away. He has been playing catch and has noted some slight improvement, but his second rehab start is still TBD.

The Rangers needed a starting pitcher tonight and Wednesday and decided to go with Jose Ureña and a bullpen game rather than prospect Owen White. The Wednesday start in one of the two doubleheader games is expected to go to Jack Leiter, who could then stay in the rotation in Eovaldi’s spot rather than return to Triple A Round Rock.

Not-so-good injury news

As expected, the Rangers placed outfielder Wyatt Langford on the injured list, and he was replaced on the roster by Round Rock shortstop Jonathan Ornelas.

Langford is facing an absence of three to four weeks. He will likely be able to work on his swing mechanics and will likely be asked to go on a rehab assignment before returning.

With Langford down, the Rangers turned to the righty-hitting Duran in left field against left-hander Alex Wood. Travis Jankowski, a lefty hitter, will likely play against right-handed pitchers.

Ornelas was the choice over fellow 40-man members Sam Huff and Dustin Harris. Huff could have been used at designated hitter, where Langford was getting most of his at-bats. While Harris has some versatility, he’s a lefty hitter, and the Rangers have enough of those.

Doggy video!

Dogger put something behind that one. Enjoy.

 

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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