Home News Marcus Semien homers on four-hit day in blowout win

Marcus Semien homers on four-hit day in blowout win

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He is not a “rah-rah” type of guy, but a strong, silent, lead-by-example type who mentors younger players and remains a steady presence at the top of the lineup and at second base, providing both Gold Glove-caliber defense and Silver Slugger-caliber offense.

There’s a number in baseball — Wins Above Replacement — that legitimately quantifies a player’s importance to his club. And though Semien leads the Rangers in bWAR at 3.0, he has still been so much more to Texas.

“It’s so hard to quantify [how important he’s been to the team],” manager Bruce Bochy said after Saturday afternoon’s 16-6 win over the Mariners at Globe Life Field. “He’s out there every day. With the defense he gives you, with what he does offensively and what he does in the clubhouse and with his work ethic, I don’t really don’t know how to measure how big he is for this team.”

That importance showed up in more ways than one on Saturday, when the Rangers annihilated the Mariners, scoring 16 runs on 19 hits to clinch the series win and position themselves for a sweep in Sunday’s finale.

Semien went 4-for-6 with a home run and two doubles, finishing a triple shy of the cycle as he extended his career-high hitting streak to 22 games. He also extended his career-best 30-game on-base streak, which is the longest active streak in MLB and the longest by a Ranger in the past five seasons.

Semien posted season highs in hits, runs (four, also a career high) and total bases (9) in the win, helping the Rangers to secure their fifth straight series win.

Over the course of his hitting streak, Semien has slashed .330/.362/.577 with a .939 OPS, raising his season batting average from .286 to .304.

“Just plate discipline and hitting the fastball,” Semein said of what’s worked during the recent stretch. “I think that those are always the keys for me. I want to be a good offspeed taker and a good fastball hitter. If it’s a mistake, do damage — as we all strive to do — and it’s been working so far.”

Semien has been an integral part of a Texas offense that’s become the best in the American League. The 16-run barrage marked the fifth time this season in which Texas has scored 15 or more runs in a game, which is already tied for the most in a single season in franchise history (also 1998).

“We all work hard on our craft, and we all are learning how certain pitches are attacking us,” Semien said. “We’re starting to see trends, so we’re being smart and being students of the game. Guys have talent here. So we’re putting all these things together and seeing what we’re doing. I think that we still haven’t even shown our full potential yet either. It’s going to be fun to get to the summer and see what we can do.”

This Rangers team, despite having the best start in franchise history, still hasn’t been healthy all year. Corey Seager was out for a month with a left hamstring injury, Mitch Garver missed nearly two months with a left knee injury and Ezequiel Duran missed the past week and a half with a right oblique strain.

This might have been the first time since the opening weekend that Texas’ best lineup has played in a game together.

Obviously, it paid off. Every starter recorded at least one hit except Josh Jung, who reached via walk. Semien, Seager, Lowe, Heim, Garver and Taveras all logged multi-hit days as the Rangers combined for 19 hits and four homers in the blowout win.

That potential that Semien talked about is bursting at the seams.

“I’ve been saying it’s going to be good to get all the guys back,” Bochy said. “It just gives us a stronger lineup. It’s good to have them all back. This is the club that we started with. You hate to deal with injuries, but the thing I like with the injuries that we had is that guys filled in. They did a great job. They didn’t talk about it, just the next man up — as they say — and really helped ease the blow of what we had to deal with.”

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