Cal Baseball: Marcus Semien Jumps On the A's Early in Rangers' 15-8 Win

The 33-year-old had a single, double, home run and 4 RBIs . . . in the first two innings.
Marcus Semien exchanges high-fives with teammates.
Marcus Semien exchanges high-fives with teammates. / Photo by Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today

Marcus Semien didn’t give his old hometown team a chance on Tuesday.

The Texas Rangers’ second baseman had a single, a double and a home run and drove in four runs — all in the first two innings before the Oakland A’s scored a run.

Semien finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored and five RBIs as the Rangers crushed the A’s 15-8 to improve their AL West-leading record to 21-16.

One day after Texas was scoreless through seven innings of a 4-2 victory and Semien went 0-for-5, the former Cal star and East Bay native jumped all over his former team.

Semien, who played the six seasons through 2020 with the A’s, led off the game by taking a Ross Stripling fastball 401 feet for his sixth homer of the season. It was his third home run to lead off a game this year, the 27th of his career.

He and the Rangers were just getting started.

The 33-year-old, who finished third in the American League MVP voting three times since 2019, triggered a 10-run second inning. He delivered an RBI single and a two-run double as the Rangers quickly stretched their lead to 11-0.

“I feel like momentum is a real thing,” Semien told reporters. “We came out, obviously, slow yesterday, so it was good to start off like that.”

The Rangers sent 16 hitters to the play in the second inning, generating their biggest inning since scoring 10 runs against the Yankees on May 23, 2015.

Catcher Josh Heim, who also had four hits, said Semien can change the complexion of a game in a hurry.

“I mean, it could be 1-0 pretty quick (with Semien leading off),” Heim said, “So when he steps up there, you know he's gonna put together a good at-bat, hit the ball hard and get the line moving. And we saw today that 1-0 turned into, I think, 11-0 quick, so it’s a pretty good start.”

Semien added another RBI single in the fourth inning, giving him four hits in the first four innings, something no Rangers player had accomplished since 

Ian Kinsler did it on April 15, 2009 against the Orioles.

Texas manager Bruce Bochy gave all credit to Semien.

“I mean, get a look at Marcus with his day. He’s the one that really got things going and ignited us,” Bochy said. “But really throughout the lineup, (everybody) did something to score. It's always good to have a lead to work with.”

Semien, who helped the Rangers win their first World Championship last season, is encouraged by the team’s four-game win streak.

“I think we’ve been playing well,” Semien said. “We’ve been winning games in different kinds of ways.”

The Rangers and A’s play a Wednesday doubleheader to close out their four-game series.

UPDATE: The A's and Rangers split the Wednesday twinbill, but Semien stayed hot, going 3-for-5 in each game, including his seventh home run. In 3 games over barely 24 hours, Semien was 10-for-15 with a double, two homers, seven runs scored and six RBIs.

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Jeff Faraudo


Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.