Semien runs hitting streak to 25 games with go-ahead double, Rangers beat Cardinals 6-4

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Rangers beat Cardinals 6-4
Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien follows through on a double as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas second baseman Marcus Semien had a go-ahead double to extend his majors-best hitting streak to 25 games and Dane Dunning won again since taking injured ace Jacob deGrom’s spot in the starting rotation as the AL West-leading Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis García hit solo homers for the Rangers (40-20), who have a five-game winning streak and the best start in Washington Senators/Texas franchise history. The most wins they had ever had through 60 games before this season was 37.

Even after allowing three homers over his 5 2/3 innings, Dunning (5-1) departed with the Rangers up 6-4.

Dunning is 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA in six starts since deGrom went on the injured list. The Rangers said earlier Tuesday that the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner will have season-ending elbow surgery next week. Dunning’s other two wins came in games when he took over after deGrom exited early twice in a span of three starts because of injury concerns, including his last game April 28 against the New York Yankees.

Will Smith, the third Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

Rookie left-hander Matthew Liberatore (1-2) allowed five runs (four earned) over four innings as the Cardinals dropped to 0-5 on this trip.

The game was tied 2-2 in the fourth when Semien came up with the bases loaded and hit a ball that ricocheted off the base of the right-center field wall fronting the Rangers bullpen. Semien, who has also reached base 33 games in a row, went to third base and a third run scored after an errant relay throw.

The 25-game hitting streak is the longest in the majors this season and the longest in Semien’s career.

It matched Ian Kinsler in 2008 and Michael Young in 2005 for the second-longest in Rangers history. The team record is 28 games, set in 2000 by Gabe Kapler, now the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

St. Louis jumped ahead on Nolan Arenado’s 11th homer, a two-run homer in the first inning. Willson Contreras and Jordan Walker hit solo shots in the sixth off Dunning, who entered the game with a MLB-best 48 innings without giving up a long ball this season.

BIG TEX NUMBERS

García finished 4 for 4 and has a seven-game hitting streak. His 15th homer of the season was his first in 16 games. His 52 RBIs are one behind Houston’s Yordan Alvarez for the MLB lead, and only two ahead of Semien. … The Rangers have scored an MLB-high 386 runs, with a plus-155 run differential. They have scored 203 runs in 29 home games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Dylan Carson, out since twisting his left ankle May 14 against Boston, began a rehab assignment playing the field for Triple-A Memphis. He is expected to DH on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

The Rangers look for a series sweep Wednesday with right-hander Jon Gray (6-1, 2.51) on the mound. Gray has won his last five starts, allowing only three earned runs over 34 innings (0.79 ERA) in that stretch. Jack Flaherty (3-4, 4.55) starts for the Cardinals.

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