ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager just provides something extra when he is in the lineup for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he is running out of different ways to describe the All-Star shortstop, and his teammates anticipate big hits whenever Seager goes to the plate.
Seager homered twice and drove in five runs as the Rangers beat the slumping Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Tuesday night. Texas is 16-2 in games he has played since the All-Star break — and were 3-6 during a stretch when he out with a sprained right thumb.
“We’re expecting something something special every at-bat,” All-Star catcher Jonah Heim said. “When he gets a single, it’s kind of disappointing to us in the dugout. He’s a special player.”
Seager has seven home runs and 15 RBIs in his 11 games since coming off the injured list Aug. 2. He has 22 homers and 73 RBIs this season while hitting .350, which would lead the American League by a wide margin if he qualified. He also missed 31 games early because of a left hamstring strain.
“Hitting is contagious. And when you have a lineup that’s going to throw out competitive at bats one through nine, it makes you want to join in,” said Seager, who said his thumb feels fine.
“Really how tough he is, that’s probably something we haven’t talked about,” Bochy said. “He hasn’t really missed a beat. We were trying to keep a watchful eye on him … and we’ll continue to do that. But right now he feels good. It’s obvious the way he’s swinging the bat. He’s been great at shortstop too.”
Jordan Montgomery (8-10) struck out nine without a walk over six innings in his third start for the Rangers since they got him in a trade deadline deal from last-place St. Louis. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA for Texas.
Angels starter Lucas Giolito (7-9), one of their deadline acquisitions, allowed four runs while throwing a season-high 110 pitches over six innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two.
Los Angeles (59-62) kept two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who can become a free agent this offseason, and made moves hoping for a playoff push. The Angels are instead 3-11 in August and now three games under .500 for the first time this season. They are eight games behind the AL’s final wild-card spot, with three teams between them and that.
Seager’s opposite-field, two-run shot to left-center in the third inning went 383 feet, and had already cleared the wall when leaping center fielder Jordyn Adams appeared to get his glove to the ball. When Adams landed on his feet, he reached into his glove like he might have the ball.
After pulling a no-doubt shot into the right-field seats in the seventh for his 12th career multihomer, Seager capped his three-hit night with a two-run single in the eighth.
At 72-48, the Rangers have their best 120-game record in franchise history. They reached 24 games over .500 for the first time since 2016, their last winning season, by clinching their fifth consecutive series. … Texas has won its last nine home games, the longest active streak in the majors and its most at Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020. “We’ve we talked about all year just trying to win series, and right now we’re kind of clicking on all cylinders,” Seager said.
Luis Rengifo snapped an 0-for-13 slide with an RBI single in the Angels fifth, which ended with Ohtani taking a called third strike with two runners on base. … Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
SETTING UP SEAGER
Travis Jankowski led off the Texas third with a walk before scoring on Marcus Semien’s triple. Seager then hit his first homer. Jankowski hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Angels: Three-time American League MVP Mike Trout had surgery on a fractured left hamate bone (wrist) six weeks ago Wednesday. He started taking swings against a hitting machine Friday, and could face live pitching in a simulated game after the Angels return home following this series.
Rangers: All-Star RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right forearm strain) said he felt good after throwing a second bullpen session in four days. Eovaldi threw six scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on July 18 in his only start since the All-Star break.
Rangers right-hander Jon Gray (8-5, 3.65 ERA) tries to win his third straight start in August after going nearly two months without a victory. Left-hander Reid Detmers (2-9, 5.27), 0-4 in his last six starts, is set to pitch for the Angels in the series finale.
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