Marcus Semien homered twice and tied a Texas franchise record for hits in a doubleheader as the Rangers hit four homers in a 6-3 win over Cleveland Guardians to earn a split on Tuesday night.
Behind starter Cal Quantrill, Cleveland won the opener 6-3 to reach .500 for the first time since May 14. Then the Guardians lost the nightcap of their fourth home doubleheader already this season.
Semien homered three times in the two games and finished 7-for-8, raising his average from .196 to .221. Semien has six homers in his last 11 games after going 43 without one.
Semien’s seven hits matched the team mark for a twin bill shared by Marlon Byrd (2009) and Fred Valentine (1968).
Among the AL’s top power-hitting teams, the Rangers teed off in Game 2 against Guardians rookie Kirk McCarty (0-1), making his first major league start.
Semien homered in the second, and Jonah Heim added a solo shot ahead of Nathaniel Lowe’s two-run homer in the fourth that put the Rangers up 5-0 against McCarty, who was pulled after four innings.
Semien connected again in the eighth off reliever Anthony Gose, a leadoff shot that put the Rangers ahead 6-3.
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.
Taylor Hearn (4-4) didn’t allow a run until the sixth when the Guardians scored three times off the Texas lefty.
Amed Rosario hit an RBI single and rookie Oscar Gonzalez delivered a two-out, two-run single-off reliever Dennis Santana, who got pinch-hitter Andrés Giménez to foul out and end the threat.
Joe Barlow worked the ninth for his 11th save.
Texas center fielder Eli White twice robbed Cleveland star José Ramírez of extra bases with terrific catches. White made a diving grab in right-center in the first and a sliding backhander in left-center in the fourth.
White also tracked deep in the ninth to snatch a long drive by Giménez against the wall in center.
In the opener, Quantrill (3-3) stayed unbeaten at home and Owen Miller drove in two runs in Cleveland’s sixth win in seven games.
“We will not use youth as an excuse,” Quantrill said. “We won’t use the rain as an excuse. We won’t use the lack of home games or the weird schedule or tough opponents. None of that matters to us.
“We think that we can be a playoff team this year, and this was the first step towards that.”
Quantrill is 7-0 in 20 career starts at Progressive Field. He’s the only AL pitcher to make at least 15 home starts and not lose over the past two seasons.
Miller hit a two-run single in a four-run third off Jon Gray (1-3), who had never faced Cleveland before.
“I had one ugly inning and it cost us,” Gray said.
Rangers rookie outfielder Steele Walker homered for his first hit in the majors.
With the Rangers trailing 5-1, Walker led off the seventh with his shot over the right-field fence. When he got back to the dugout, the 25-year-old, who made his debut on Sunday, was given the cold-shoulder treatment by his teammates before they broke down and congratulated him.
“It was a relief, but it also felt good to know that I’m contributing to try and get a win as well,” Walker said.
While Walker got back his home run ball from fans as a souvenir, he won’t be using the bat he hit it with again.
Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase broke it in the ninth with a 101 mph fastball.
“Oh, I’ve seen 101, for sure,” Walker said. “But 101 cutting? That’s Wiffle-ball-type stuff. That’s a whole different deal, a whole different mindset.”