ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Marcus Semien had already extended his majors-best hitting streak to 24 games with two hits earlier in the game. His one-out walk in the ninth inning set the Texas Rangers up for their fourth win in a row.
“Marcus, it looks like he’s having a great time. He should be with the type of baseball he’s playing,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “I enjoy watching him.”
Semien scored the game-winning run on Nathaniel Lowe's sharp RBI single grounded through the left side of the infield as the AL West-leading Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Monday night.
Corey Seager followed Semien with a single, a popup to shallow left field that third baseman Nolan Arenado chased down but was unable to catch. Lowe then delivered his opposite-field shot off left-hander Génesis Cabrera (1-1).
“I got a pitch that I could do something with, and we’ll take it,” Lowe said.
“Marcus with the big walk. And, you know, Corey didn’t hit it hard, but he hit it in a good place there. And we had another good hitter up (Lowe)," Bochy said. “A hard-fought game, a good character builder. You’ve got a 3-1 lead and they tied it in the eighth. You had to keep battling and they did.”
Rangers closer Will Smith (1-2) worked a scoreless ninth for the victory.
The Cardinals, who have lost four straight, tied the game in the eighth after loading the bases with no outs against rookie reliever Grant Anderson. Some botched baserunning cost them a chance to take the lead after Paul Goldschmidt’s sacrifice fly.
“A tough one,” Cards manager Oliver Marmol said. “Too many mistakes. Made some mistakes on bases that cost us.”
Arenado followed Goldschmidt with a drive to deep left, though the two base runners were close to each other when the ball ricocheted off the wall as left fielder Ezequiel Duran slammed into it before quickly recovering to get the ball.
Nolan Gorman scored the tying run but when Tommy Edman retreated toward third after making the turn, Arenado was sliding into the bag. Edman got tagged out and Arenado slammed his helmet near the plate after Willson Contreras' inning-ending grounder.
Semien had an RBI single that put Texas 3-1 in the second, when he was the third consecutive batter to drive in a run off Adam Wainwright. The inning began with back-to-back singles by Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver before Duran’s RBI double and an RBI groundout by Leody Taveras.
The 24-game hitting streak for Semien is the longest in the majors this season and the longest in his career. The Rangers' franchise record is 28, set in 2000 by Gabe Kapler, now the manager of the San Francisco Giants.
St. Louis got an unearned run in the second when Contreras reached on a two-base error after right fielder Adolis Garcia dropped a flyball, stole third and scored on a single by Paul DeJong.
At 39-20, the Rangers have the best 59-game start in Washington Senators/Texas franchise history. This is the first time the Rangers have been 19 games over .500 since the end of 2016, their last winning season, and the earliest date and fewest games needed to reach that mark.
Rangers starter Martín Pérez allowed one unearned run over seven innings. The left-hander struck out five, walked one and allowed only three singles. The 41-year-old Wainwright gave up three runs and eight hits while throwing a season-high 106 pitches (64 strikes) over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in any of his six starts, but has gone at least five innings in all of them, since missing the first 33 games this season because of a groin injury sustained during the World Baseball Classic.
BIG CARD RBIS
Arenado and Goldschmidt had an RBI in the same game for the first time since May 15.
Cardinals: OF Dylan Carson (left ankle) will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Memphis. He has been out since twisting his ankle May 14 against Boston.
Rangers: Transferred RHP Jacob deGrom (right elbow inflammation) from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day IL, and activated RHP Spencer Howard from the 60-day IL. ... RHP Jonathan Hernández was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
RHP Dane Dunning (4-1, 2.06 ERA) makes his sixth start since filling in deGrom's spot in the rotation. Dunning is 2-1 with 2.28 ERA in that span. Lefty Matthew Liberatore (1-1, 4.91) will be on the mound Tuesday night for the Cardinals.
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