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A’s will look to shut down Corey Seager-led Rangers

Sportsnaut
Jul 9, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (5) hits for a single against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Corey Seager that the Texas Rangers expected has shown up in July. To the organization, this isn’t a surprise, because it was only a matter of time.

To the Oakland Athletics, that’s not great news. They have to face their American League West rivals for a three-game series that begins Monday in Arlington, Texas.

Seager is regaining the form that made him a two-time All-Star and a World Series MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Seager, who signed for 10 years and $325 million in the offseason, went 6-for-9 with three home runs and six RBIs over the weekend against the Minnesota Twins. Texas took two of three in the series.

The left-handed hitting shortstop also has four homers in his last five games, and 19 on the season.

“It seems like every time I’m putting my helmet away, he hits a home run,” Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien told MLB.com about Seager.

In July, Seager is hitting .382 with a .735 slugging percentage and 1.171 OPS.

The A’s and Rangers have already played two series at Oakland, and Texas has won five of seven. Monday marks the first meeting between the clubs in Arlington.

After dropping two of three to the Houston Astros, the A’s are beginning a six-game road trip, with three games at Texas, and after an off day on Thursday, a three-game set at the Astros.

“Nothing is easy it seems at this level,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said on A’s All-Access radio. “You’re challenged every day. There are good teams in front of you. We’re looking forward to getting to Texas. It will be our first trip to Texas, actually. So, we’ve got two more within the next two months.”

The Rangers on Monday will start Spencer Howard (0-1,10.97 ERA), and the A’s are going with right-hander Adrian Martinez (2-1, 6.00 ERA).

Howard will be making his fifth appearance and third start of the season. The right-hander started on July 5 at the Baltimore Orioles. In that appearance, he gave up four earned runs in four innings. It was his first start since April 29.

The Rangers optioned Howard to Triple-A Round Rock on April 30, where he was 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 10 minor league starts.

This will be Howard’s second time facing the A’s this season. On April 24, he logged two innings of relief, giving up two runs.

Martinez, coming off a July 5 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, will be making his fourth big league start.

In the Rangers’ 9-7 win on Saturday, Semien and Seager belted back-to-back home runs for the first time.

“Everybody feeds off each other, and in my opinion, it’s the best way to score,” Semien said. “The ability to produce runs on one swing is a nice luxury. Seager already has (19) home runs. We can steal bases. We can create runs in other ways. But home runs are a gut punch sometimes.”

The series marks a return to Texas for A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus, a two-time All-Star in 12 seasons with the Rangers.

Since leaving the Rangers after 2020, Andrus has played in 23 games against his former club, and he has a slash line of .241/.300/.325 with seven doubles and six RBIs.

Oakland infielder Vimael Machin hit his first MLB home run in Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the Houston Astros.

–Field Level Media