Guymon Daily Herald
Rangers keep rolling in rout o M’s
ARLINGTON, Texas — Marcus Semien’s hitting streak, Nathan Eovaldi’s nearly untouchable pitching, Travis Jankowski’s leaping catches.
The AL West-leading Texas Rangers are doing just about everything right.
“Everybody I feel like is groovin’ right now,” Eovaldi said.
Semien extended MLB’s longest hitting streak this season to 23 games, Jonah Heim homered and drove in five runs, and Texas’ offense kept rolling Sunday in a 12-3 victory that finished a sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
Corey Seager also went deep as the Rangers won consecutive games by a combined score of 28-9 after taking the series opener 2-0.
Texas scored at least 10 runs for a major league-leading 16th time in 58 games and has won five straight series, its longest streak in five years.
“You can’t say enough about our offense,” Eovaldi said. “It just makes my job a little easier to go out there and attack the guys knowing that I’ve got a few runs to play with.”
Eovaldi (8-2) allowed one hit with seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings for his seventh consecutive win.
He would have gone beyond 87 pitches, but Texas had a 12-0 lead through six.
The right-hander has a 0.68 ERA in his past seven starts, a stretch that includes a careerbest streak of 29 2/3 scoreless innings and two complete games. He began the day as the only pitcher in the majors with multiple complete games.
All nine Texas batters in the starting lineup had at least one hit as the Rangers finished with 15 a day after pounding out a season-high 19. Rookie third baseman Josh Jung had three hits.
“Throughout the order, everybody has done such a great job of hitting with runners in scoring position,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who passed Walter Alston for 10th on the career wins list with his 2,041st. “One guy doesn’t do it, we just feel good about the next guys.”
Jankowski, the No. 9 hitter, was the last to join the group with a leadoff double in the sixth. By then, the center fielder had already made the defensive play of the game by taking a home run away from Mike Ford with a leaping catch over the wall in front of the Texas bullpen in rightcenter in the fifth.
Jankowski had another leaping grab at the wall
in center in the eighth, although Cal Raleigh’s liner appeared to be just below the yellow line near the 407-foot sign.
A final defensive gem ended it, when backup shortstop Josh Smith jumped to snag Kolten Wong’s line drive for an unassisted double play. It sealed the Mariners’ second nine-run loss a day after their first 10-run defeat of the season.
“We’re not playing winning baseball against top-flight teams,” manager Scott Servais said. “It’s one of the best offenses we’ve seen all year. Ton of credit there. And on the flip side, we didn’t pitch our best, or play our best, in this series.”
Just as he did in a 16-6 Texas victory Saturday, Semien extended his career-best hitting streak with a leadoff double in the first inning. He has reached base in 31 consecutive games, also a career high.
Seattle rookie Bryce Miller had walked three in his first 36 major league innings before walking two in the first ahead of Heim’s two-out, two-run double with the bases loaded.
Miller (3-3) retired just one of seven batters in the third before getting replaced after Robbie Grossman’s two-run double. Seager opened the five-run inning with his sixth homer.
The 24-year-old Texan gave up seven runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings after allowing 11 hits and eight runs to the New York Yankees in his previous start. Miller permitted just four runs with three scoreless outings in the first five starts of his big league career.
“Not quite the same velo or life on the fastball that we saw early on,” Servais said. “That happens, young guys going through this for the first time.”
HOUSTON — Shohei Ohtani hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels edged the Houston Astros 2-1 on Sunday to avoid a fourgame series sweep.
Ohtani was hitless before clubbing a pitch from Phil Maton (0-1) off the wall in right field, driving in Gio Urshela for a 2-1 lead. The clutch swing gave Ohtani 41 RBIs on the season.
“Just a really good atbat understanding what the pitcher is trying to do,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Maton is one of the toughest against a lefty in all of baseball . ... It worked out for us.”
Luis Rengifo hit his third homer for Los Angeles, which stopped a three-game slide.
“He’s really swinging it well,” Nevin said. “Three hits last night and a big home run today. To me he’s been very selective, swinging at the right pitches and got the good part of the barrel on one today.”
Chris Devenski (30) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win against his first major league team, and Carlos Estévez got four outs for his 14th save.
“Everyone did what they had to do and it feels good to get a team win like this and playing really well like this against the Astros,” Estévez said. “That’s pretty cool.”
Yainer Diaz connected for Houston, and Alex Bregman also had two hits. Bregman extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Diaz’s leadoff drive in the fifth against Griffin Canning put the Astros in front. But Rengifo went deep in the sixth for the Angels’ first hit of the game against J.P. France.
“It was just one of those things,” France said. “It wasn’t a great pitch, he put a good swing on it. But after that just cleared it and decided to keep on rolling*.”
Canning allowed four hits, struck out four and walked one in six innings. It was his fourth straight start of allowing three or fewer runs.
“After the first three games you want to try and put a stop to things,” Canning said. “It was nice to go out there, just on a really good page with (Matt) Thaiss behind the plate and then some timely hitting, obviously, and then the bullpen came in and shut it down.”
France pitched a career-best seven innings in his sixth major league start. He yielded three hits, struck out three and walked one.
“He was throwing quality pitches all day and also that was the furthest he’s gone for us,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “You hate to waste that pitching performance but their guy was pretty good too.”
Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon (left groin strain) is expected to be activated either Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Nevin.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve was held out of the lineup for a second straight game after experience an oblique issue after an awkward swing on Friday night. Altuve did run and throw prior to Sunday’s game but did not hit. Baker said Altuve is day to day.
Angels: Off Monday before opening a sixgame homestand. Following Sunday’s game, Nevin set the rotation for the Cubs series and LHP Tyler Anderson (21, 5.47 ERA) will start Tuesday.
Astros: RHP Brandon Bielak (2-2, 3.19 ERA) will open Houston’s seven-game road trip on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Bielak matched a career high in strikeouts with six in his last start, which came in a win against the Twins.