Much-needed offense.

Marcus Semien got the offense started early, homering on the first pitch.

Is it safe to say the Rangers are out of their slump? They have scored fifteen runs in two of their last four games. That’s a ton of offense.

Yesterday’s onslaught started with the very first pitch of the game, a Marcus Semien home run. By the time the second inning ended, the Rangers had tacked on ten more runs, and Semien was a triple short of the cycle. 

That was the second inning. Every starter had at least one hit except Adolis Garcia. Semien and Jonah Heim had four. Leody Taveras had three. Corey Seager, Nathanial Lowe, and Josh Smith had two.

This was a game the Rangers were conceding before it began, using reliever Jose Ureña as their starter in anticipation of today’s doubleheader. With three games within a forty-eight-hour period, the Rangers really needed what they got yesterday. 

Scoring all fifteen runs before the fourth inning allowed them to use their C bullpen, the mop up guys, and allowed manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Mike Maddux to keep their A and B bullpen arms fresh for two games today. Ignore those eight runs the Rangers gave up. They were just trying to get the game over and not tax any important arms.

With Jack Leiter starting the second game, chances are pretty good the Rangers are going to need the bullpen. His last outing he gave up seven runs in 3.2 innings against Detroit. Lucky for him, and for Texas, the Rangers scored enough runs to overcome that, winning 9-7.

(Scheduled doubleheaders, the old fashion kind that weren’t the result of a rainout, are rare. But it appears the Athletics just want to get their time in Oakland over as soon as possible.)

So, the Rangers bats have come alive. Texas has won four games in a row, their longest winning streak of the season. They are back in first. And the Astros are back in last. 

The season is starting to shape up nicely.