Marcus Semien's Response to HBP: A Two-Run Homer

The former Cal star is determined to get the World Champion Rangers pointed in the right direction
Marcus Semien celebrates the Rangers' win over the Giants.
Marcus Semien celebrates the Rangers' win over the Giants. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The first pitch Texas Rangers leadoff hitter Marcus Semien saw Sunday knocked his helmet off.

The next pitch that came his way Semien knocked out of the park for a two-run homer at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

There was a lesson there for the visiting San Francisco Giants.

“Don’t make him mad. Right?,” Rangers starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi said.

Semien, the 33-year-old former Cal star, wasn’t thrilled by Sunday’s opening scene.

"Not how you want to start the game. Definitely not," Semien said. "The first pitch, you don't expect that, but luckily I'm OK.”

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. who famously led the Giants to three World Series titles a decade ago, wasn’t surprised by Semien’s response.

"Scary moment, as you well know, when a guy gets hit in the helmet," Bochy said after the Rangers’ 7-2 victory. "Marcus, he does have a knack next time up — hit a home run. I've seen it more than once now. He plays with a lot of fire, and he gets ticked off at times.”

According to reporting by the Dallas Morning News, this was the fourth time in his three seasons with the Rangers that Semien homered after being hit by a pitch in the same game.

Semien figures it was actually about time he and the Texas offense came to life. 

"That's what I want to do anyway, if I get hit or not," Semien said of the homer. "I got a mistake. I definitely want to be aggressive on a pitch up in the zone like that.

“Everybody has been talking about how bad we’ve been,” Semien said. “It’s good to kind of break out.”

The Rangers, reigning World Series champions, are 31-34 and five games back of the Seattle Rangers in the AL West. They had dropped four of their previous five games, including each of the first two in the weekend series vs. the Giants.

Semien, who finished third in the AL MVP voting a year ago, has scuffled at times this season, just as the Rangers have.

But he is coming to life in recent weeks. His 11th home run was the 19th time he’d reached base over nine games since taking a rare day off. May 29 was the only game he has missed in three years with the team.

Over the past eight games, Semien is batting .370 with a .514 on-base percentage and has scored eight runs. He has reached base in nine straight outings.

The Rangers have an off day Monday then open a three-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Tuesday.


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Jeff Faraudo

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.