Semien, Seager RBI singles for Texas in 6-2 win over Astros

Apr 25, 2022, 8:33 AM | Updated: 9:39 pm
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. (12) walks off the field after making a pitching change as t...

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. (12) walks off the field after making a pitching change as the team played the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

              Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. (12) walks off the field after making a pitching change as the team played the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Houston Astros' s Kyle Tucker (30) steals second as Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien, right, defends during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez (44) is congratulated by teammates after he hit a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Texas Rangers' Nick Solak (15) is congratulated by Eli White, right, after he scored against the Houston Astros during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Texas Rangers' Willie Calhoun, left, slides safely into third base on a sacrifice hit as Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) defends during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
            
              Texas Rangers' Adolis Garcia, left, celebrates his run-scoring single as Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, right, looks on during the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, April 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager feels like things are starting to come together for the Texas Rangers, who have won four of their last five games.

Marcus Semien and Seager, the two big offseason additions, had RBI singles in the decisive seventh inning, last season’s top rookie Adolis Garcia had a bases-clearing double in the eighth and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in the opener of a four-game series Monday night.

“Everything’s kind of clicking on both sides, the chemistry is getting better,” Seager said. “There’s a lot of new faces, and a lot of new parts that we’re coming together … and are starting to figure themselves out.”

Along with the timely hitting late, Matt Moore (1-0) and three other relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Young right-handed starter Dane Dunning struck out five and allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Pinch-hitter Willie Calhoun opened the Texas seventh with a double off just-in reliever Phil Maton (0-1), who after getting his only out allowed Semien’s single through the left side of the drawn-in infield that tied the game at 2-2. After a single by Garcia, another pitching change and a wild pitch, Semien came home with the go-ahead run on Seager’s sharp single to right.

“For Willie to come off the bench right there, it’s not an easy thing to do,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “A huge hit there to start that inning, and we end up getting the lead. And Semien had a really good at-bat before Adolis. Those are the hits we’re going to need.”

Garcia hit his bases-loaded double with two outs in the eighth for the Rangers, who were 2-9 before their recent surge. They won for only the second time in their seven home games this season.

Yordan Alvarez hit his fourth homer for the Astros, who have lost five of six. Kyle Tucker drove in a run with a two-out single in the sixth on which he initially slammed his bat to the ground in disgust thinking he had popped out to shallow left.

Houston starter Framber Valdez allowed only an unearned run over six innings, striking out five, walking two and hitting a batter. The lefty departed after throwing 60 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

“He did pitch good. He got out of some tough jams, made some pitches when he had to,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He got up close to 100 pitches, what we hoped for, and he hoped for too.”

Valdez seemed OK after Nathaniel Lowe’s bat shattered in the fourth and helicoptered into the pitcher’s upper back. That happened when Lowe, who had two hits to raise his batting average to .381, grounded into an inning-ending double play.

“We knew it hit him, but we didn’t know where, but he said it hit him in the muscle and he said it didn’t hurt. … he’s going to be sore tomorrow,” said Baker, who called the play scary. “I’ve seen that stick in a couple of guys.”

SOLID HURLING

Texas pitchers have allowed two or fewer runs in four consecutive games, the team’s longest such stretch since April 2017.

“It really is an execution thing, but I think to execute, there’s just a little bit more of a calmness to them,” Woodward said of the pitchers. “They’re uber-competitive bunch, but I just think that they’re on their feet, are on solid ground a little bit more. … Not as much anxiousness.”

SHORT HOPS

The Rangers scored four runs in the top of the first inning of their season opener April 8 at Toronto. In their 15 games since, they have been scoreless in their first innings while hitting .167 (9 for 54). …. The retractable roof at Globe Life Field was open for the sixth time in the Rangers’ seven home games this season. The roof was open for only 11 of the team’s 81 home games last season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Alvarez fouled a pitch off his right shin while batting in the third inning. He immediately jumped away from the plate in pain and dropped to both knees with his head bowed toward the ground. He eventually got up and stayed in the game, then hit an inning-ending comebacker to Dunning.

Rangers: Woodward said RHP Spencer Patton’s right oblique issue isn’t thought to be serious even though the right-hander was put on the 10-day injured list Sunday. Woodward said before Monday’s game that Patton had been pitching through some soreness.

UP NEXT

Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 9.00 ERA), who didn’t make it out of the first inning in his last start, is scheduled to take the mound for the Astros. Rangers lefty-hander Taylor Hearn (0-1, 7.59) is 2-0 in seven career appearances against Houston, the only team he has multiple victories against.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) attempts a three-point shot as New Orleans Pelicans guard T...
Associated Press

Irving trade official as Mavs essentially start season over

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic has his co-star, and the Dallas Mavericks are set for their season essentially to start over after trading for Kyrie Irving. The blockbuster deal with Brooklyn sending the mercurial Irving to the Mavericks became official Monday, two days before what figures to be his Dallas debut at the Los Angeles […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz stands on the field before an NCAA college football...
Associated Press

If Iowa offense ups its game, OC Brian Ferentz recoups pay

Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is taking a pay cut as part of a new contract that will reward him if the Hawkeyes average 25 points and win at least seven games next season — and make it easier to fire him if they don’t. The athletic department on Monday released an amended contract for […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Qatar hires coach Carlos Queiroz through the 2026 World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Former Portugal and Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has worked at the last four World Cups and was hired on Monday by Qatar to aim for a fifth straight at the next edition hosted in North America. The Qatar Football Association hired former Real Madrid coach Queiroz until 2026 to take charge […]
2 days ago
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) and Charlotte Hornets guard Dennis Smith Jr. (8) battle for ...
Associated Press

Jazz owner aims to showcase Utah with NBA All-Star Game

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — When the NBA All-Star Game returns to Salt Lake City for the first time in three decades, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith anticipates the event will help build Utah into a destination for other major sporting events. “All the lights will be on us, but I think it is one […]
2 days ago
FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, former NFL official Mike Pereira walks across the field b...
Associated Press

Fox’s Pereira knows pressure Super Bowl officials are facing

Mike Pereira knows the pressure Carl Cheffers and his officiating crew will be under during Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. That’s because he either hired or promoted most of them. As the NFL’s vice president of officiating in 2008, Pereira promoted Cheffers from side judge to referee. After 14 […]
2 days ago
FILE - Chelsea's Pedro, left, and Newcastle United's Christian Atsu vie for the ball during the Eng...
Associated Press

Former Chelsea forward Atsu missing after Turkey earthquake

Former Chelsea and Newcastle forward Christian Atsu is missing and believed to be trapped under rubble following the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday and left more than 2,500 people dead. The Ghana international, who plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, is thought to be in a building that was destroyed, Hatayspor spokesman Mustafa Özat […]
2 days ago
Semien, Seager RBI singles for Texas in 6-2 win over Astros