ARLINGTON – Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien reached base three times in his four plate appearances in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Angels.
He had both of Texas’ hits in five innings off Angels starter Michael Lorenzen, including a third-inning double that drove in the Rangers’ first run.
Semien led off the eighth with a walk off of Angels reliever Jose Quijada, setting up Corey Seager’s 405-foot blast to give the Rangers the lead.
Semien, signed to a 7-year, $175 million free agent contract last offseason, batted .157 in March and April, .233 in May and .287, .268 and .230 the following three months.
In 20 September games, though, he is batting .345 with three home runs, 10 doubles and 13 RBI, raising his season batting average from .239 to .254.
“I think I got more comfortable as we got into June, I’d say,” Semien said. “Stick with the same process every day. Do the same work. Make adjustments since I need to. Since June I’ve felt a lot better than at the beginning.”
Big picture: Starter Martin Perez (12-6) left the game after six innings and a 3-3 tie, so he was not able to earn his career-high-tying 13th win, which he set with Texas in 2017.
Perez, though, achieved his career-best 21st quality start in 30 outings this season. Thursday was Perez’s 28th consecutive start of five or more innings pitched, tying Kenny Rogers for the longest such streak by a Rangers left-hander.
Perez’s 183.1 innings pitched is more than his previous two seasons combined (176) and is nearing his career-best highs of 198.2 and 185.0, set with the Rangers in 2016 and 2017.
“I think what Martin is doing right now is impressive for us and for any team around the industry that’s looking at him,” interim Rangers manager Tony Beasley said. “Because you want pitchers that can pitch in the postseason; not just get you through the 162.
“We have to think about what happens beyond 162. Because that’s ultimately what we want to do. We don’t want to just finish out the regular season. We want to play beyond that. And so would he have anything left in the tank if that was the scenario? The answer is yes.”
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