The Texas Rangers unloaded on the Oakland Athletics on Saturday in an 11-4 win to clinch a road series victory, inch closer to a sweep and continue the climb to .500.
Plus, second baseman Marcus Semien ended his 43-game home-run drought to start the season in spectacular fashion.
The Rangers (22-23) haven’t been .500 all season. The last time the Rangers were one game under was at 1-2 on April 10. That win on April 10 saw the Rangers scored 12 runs, their season high.
While Semien’s home run made the big story, the Rangers offense overwhelmed starter Zach Logue (2-4) and gave Rangers starter Taylor Hearn (3-3) more than enough run support.
The Rangers can for a series sweep tomorrow and manager Chris Woodward says the team isn't letting up.
"I've very aware of that," Woodward said to Bally Sports Southwest after the game "And I think the whole clubhouse is very aware of that. We can't let up. We stress all the time that it doesn't matter who we're playing, where we're playing or how we're playing, we have to keep going, we have to keep our foot on the gas."
Texas finished with 18 hits off the Oakland pitching staff. Plenty of Rangers got in on the action.
Corey Seager was a triple away from the cycle, as he finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. That included his first-inning home run, part of a three-run first inning.
Kole Calhoun, perhaps the hottest hitter in the Rangers order, went 3-for-6 with one RBI and two runs.
And Adolis García, who hit a home run right after Seager in the first, finished 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run.
Nathaniel Lowe stayed sharp with a triple and two hits while driving in a run. Charlie Culberson added two hits and Andy Ibáñez, whose two-run pinch-hit single in the ninth helped the Rangers win on Friday night, started and had three hits, along with a run and an RBI.
Every Rangers starter, with the exception of left fielder Eli White, had at least one hit.
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But Semien made all the noise.
The former Athletics standout, who signed a $175 million deal with the Rangers after hitting 45 home runs with Toronto last season, had gone without a home run since the season started. Before stepping to the plate in the fifth inning, he had already walked and scored on Seager’s home run.
Semien had the bases full of Rangers and he cashed in, sending Athletics reliever Jacob Lemoine’s second pitch over the fence in right-center field for his first home run and the sixth grand slam of his career.
His reaction was happiness and relief. Same went for his teammates.
"He's been swinging the bat well, getting hits, getting on base and doing a lot of things for us," Woodward said. "To go opposite field when most of his homers were pulled last year, that was big for us."
Semien finished 1-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored, along with two walks. That included a bases-loaded walk in the sixth that led to his final RBI.
While the Rangers’ incredible offense took the spotlight off Hearn, he had a fine start. Hearn ended up throwing six innings for the first time this season. He gave up eight hits, three runs (two earned) and one walk while striking out five. He threw 92 pitches, the most he’s thrown this season.
"I thought his intent in the first three or four innings was the best I've seen from him," Woodward said. "He looked like he was dialed in. I love the way he finished the game."
The Rangers face the Athletics (19-30) on Sunday at 3:07 p.m. CT to close out the series and go for a four-game sweep. The Rangers are scheduled to start Dane Dunning, with the Oakland sending out James Kaprielian.
After Sunday, the Rangers return home to start a seven-game homestand against Tampa Bay on Monday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard