Wednesday newsletter time: Yet another big game for Corey Seager as Rangers cruise
(AP photo/Tony Gonzalez)
ARLINGTON — Corey Seager just keeps getting better, and so do the Rangers.
The shortstop connected for two homers, including a two-run shot in the third that was nearly robbed, and drove in five as the Rangers rolled to a 7-3 victory over the mostly disinterested Angels.
The win kept the Rangers 3 1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the American League West, and the Angels tumbled to 13 1/2 games out and eight back in the wild-card race after going for it at the trade deadline.
Seager went 3 for 5, also homering in the seventh and lining a two-run single in the eighth. He is batting .350 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs despite missing 40 games. He’s up to 349 plate appearances, which is 23 shy of being a qualifying player and eligible to rank among the league leaders.
“We’re just trying to throw out good at-bats 1 through 9, and so far we’re doing that,” said Seager, who generally dislikes speaking about himself.
A player needs 3.1 plate appearances per team game. Seager should be a qualifier by the end of the month, at which time he will become the runaway leader in batting average.
But the stat that speaks the loudest about how good he’s been is that Rangers are 16-2 since the All-Star break when he’s been in the lineup.
The other guys are going just fine, too. The Rangers are hitting for power but also stringing hits together and manufacturing runs. On the road trip last week, there were two instances when they scored runs from second base on infield hits.
That’s 2010 Rangers stuff. That team also had a player who missed a significant stretch but won the batting title and MVP, Josh Hamilton. Seager won’t win the MVP this season, but he just keeps getting better.
Montgomery delivers, too
Seager’s first homer followed an RBI triple by Marcus Semien and staked left-hander Jordan Montgomery to a 3-0 lead in his third start since being acquired from St. Louis.
This one was his best.
Montgomery allowed one run on six hits in six innings, striking out a season-high nine while not issuing a walk. Rangers starters have 32 strikeouts the past three games after Dane Dunning fanned a career-high 12 on Sunday and Max Scherzer picked up a season-high 11 Ks on Monday.
“Once a staff builds some momentum, you just want to go out and do your job and pass off the ball to the next guy,” Montgomery said. “When you’ve got as many starters as we do and are as talented as we are, you can build some momentum.”
Jon Gray struck out seven over seven innings Friday at San Francisco and is scheduled to pitch tonight in the finale against the Rangers, who have won nine straight games at Globe Life Field.
The Rangers are an MLB-best 42-20 this season at home.
“They’re playing well,” Bochy said. “We’re doing a lot of things right right now, and it starts with the pitching.”
Rangers on the Grid
The Rangers are running hot as a regular on the Immaculate Grid, the game all baseball fans should be playing. The Rangers were back Tuesday.
As always, my rule with the Rangers is to go as obscure as possible, and I think I hit my all-time best in obscurity with the player who played for both the Rangers and the Orioles.
Who remembers the Renato Nunez era? I did, as short-lived as it was. Nice guy.
My entire grid is pictured. I was pretty happy with the Tris Speaker pull for A’s hitters with 3,000 hits. The one-time Texas Wesleyan player collected the last of his 3,514 career hits for the Philadelphia A’s nearly 100 years ago.
One of the nicest guys to ever where a Rangers uniform was Adam Rosales, who always seemed grateful to be in the big leagues. He’s back in the minors … as the coach of the Oakland A’s team in the Arizona Complex League.
Rosales lives in Mesa, home of the A’s complex, so it makes sense.
Nate Lowe is nice guy, too.
Might also think he’s Pepe Le Pew (look it up, kids), who probably is in cartoon jail somewhere. Enjoy.
When your dog thinks he’s a bunny.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/dPHdeiPouD
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) August 15, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com