Seager’s eighth-inning homer pushes Rangers past Angels 5-3

Texas Rangers v Miami Marlins - Game Two
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, helping the Texas Rangers top the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Thursday.

Seager drove a 1-1 fastball from Jose Quijada (0-5) deep to left-center for his 32nd homer, extending his career best in his first season with Texas. Quijada came in to pitch the eighth and walked leadoff hitter Marcus Semien before Seager connected for his opposite-field shot.

Matt Moore (5-2) got three outs for the win, and Jose Leclerc handled the ninth for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Angels star Shohei Ohtani was held out of the starting lineup, but he pinch-hit with one out in the ninth and doubled into the right-field corner. Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout then struck out swinging.

The Rangers won a series for the first time since Aug. 19-22. They also took the season series from Los Angeles and moved a half-game ahead of the Angels in the fight for third place in the AL West.

“To come out and win a series against an in-division team, it’s something to be proud of,” Seager said.

The 28-year-old Seager finalized a $325 million, 10-year contract with Texas in December. But the Rangers (65-84) are playing out a sixth consecutive losing season.

Seager reached the postseason in his first seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Failure always drives you,” Seager said. “You don’t ever want to lose. You remember how it feels, and it makes you go work in the offseason.”

Angels interim manger Phil Nevin didn’t blame the loss on Seager’s homer.

“We walked three leadoff hitters today, and all three of them scored,” Nevin said. “We’ve got to get better at that.”

Angels right-hander Michael Lorenzen was charged with three runs and two hits in five-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

The Angels led 3-1 before the Rangers rallied in the sixth. Leody Taveras walked and Semien singled before Lorenzen was replaced by Aaron Loup.

After Seager bounced into a forceout, Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis Garcia hit consecutive RBI singles. Jonah Heim followed with another base hit, but left fielder Jo Adell cut down Lowe at the plate.

Los Angeles scored three times in the third against Martin Perez. Trout, serving as the designated hitter with Ohtani out of the lineup, hit a two-run double with two out and scored on Taylor Ward‘s single to right.

Perez allowed five hits, struck out five and walked three in six innings. The left-hander won each of his previous two starts.

SITTING SHOHEI

Ohtani was held out of the starting lineup for the ninth time in 151 games this season. It was the first time since Sept. 4.

“We like to think he’s Superman and can do it every day and all that, but he’s human,” Nevin said. “We’ve got to give him days of rest once in a while. I like to do that either the day before or after he pitches.”

Nevin said other factors were the lefty-lefty matchup against Perez and getting Trout off the artificial turf for a day.

CROWD PLEASER

Before the game, some Angels players sat quietly in the clubhouse watching a documentary about Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who spent nine seasons with the Angels and five with the Rangers. In it, Ryan said he assumed the December 1971 trade from the New York Mets to “sunny California” sent him to the Dodgers. When he learned he was traded to the Angels, he said, “I could have died.”

And the room burst out in laughter.

UP NEXT

Angels: Ohtani (13-8, 2.43 ERA) pitches on Friday against Minnesota. He is 3-0 in his last four starts with a 0.67 ERA and 29 strikeouts.

Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (7-7, 3.80 ERA) will oppose Cleveland RHP Cody Morris (0-2, 2.30 ERA) in the opener of a three-game home series on Friday night.

Pujols has 2 more RBIs, Cardinals beat Pirates 8-7 in 10

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals
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PITTSBURGH – Albert Pujols drove in two more runs and the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Pujols hit a two-run single in the third inning to push his career total to 2,218 RBIs. That came a night after he broke a tie with Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,287.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol then removed the 42-year-old Pujols at the end of the inning. St. Louis opens postseason play Friday when it hosts a best-of-three National League wild-card series.

Juan Yepez gave the Cardinals the win when he hit a tiebreaking single with one in the 10th inning off Chase De Jong (6-3) to score automatic runner Ben Deluzio.

“Tonight was interesting because you’re fairly scripted in who you want to use and who you don’t want to use and what you want tomorrow to look like so you can get ready for Friday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It was a good one to still figure out a way to come out on top.”

The Cardinals threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom of the 10th when automatic runner Kevin Newman tried to score from second base on Oneil Cruz‘s line single off the glove of first baseman Alec Burleson. The ball deflected to second baseman Brendon Donovan, who threw home to catcher Andrew Knizner.

The Pirates challenged the call, but it was upheld on video review.

“I thought we were going to get it overturned,” Newman said. “I just thought he didn’t tag me until he got higher up on the body.”

It was the Pirates’ 100th loss, the second year in a row they have reached that mark.

The Cardinals got two hits each from Donovan, Corey Dickerson, Knizner and Paul DeJong.

Cruz had three hits for the Pirates and Bryan Reynolds, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Ji-Hwan Bae added two apiece. Miguel Andujar drove in two runs.

Chris Stratton (10-4) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.

“They weren’t the prettiest two innings I’ve ever pitched but I got a great play from the defense in the 10th inning to help me out,” Stratton said. “It was a good play all the way around.’

Pujols’ hit put the Cardinals ahead 3-1 but the Pirates answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. Andujar’s run-scoring double highlighted an inning that includes RBI singles by Castro, Suwinski, Ben Gamel and Bae.

The Cardinals then scored four runs in the seventh inning to tie the score at 7-all. Donovan hit an RBI single, Dickerson drove in two runs with a double and the tying run scored on a throwing error by Cruz, the rookie shortstop.

Both starting pitchers lasted just 2 2/3 innings. The Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson was rocked for seven runs and nine hits while the Pirates’ JT Brubaker allowed three runs on four hits.

Brubaker was activated from the injured list before the game. He had been out since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

HELSLEY HURT

Reliever Ryan Helsley, the Cardinals’ closer, left in the eighth inning with a jammed right middle finger. Helsley was injured after catching a line drive by Bae and using his hands to brace himself while dodging a piece of a broken bat.

Helsley said he expects to be ready to pitch Friday.

“I don’t think there was anything super wrong with it,” Helsley said. `Just give it some rest and let it resolve itself.”

ROSTER MOVES

The Pirates optioned right-hander Roansy Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear a roster spot for Brubaker. They also recalled infielder/outfielder Tucapita Marcano from Indianapolis and optioned catcher Jose Godoy to the same club.

PIRATES AWARDS

Center fielder Bryan Reynolds was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ MVP, by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Mitch Keller won the Steve Blass Award for best pitcher. Former infielder Michael Chavis was voted the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Tyler O'Neill (strained right hamstring) has been ruled out for the wild-card series but St. Louis is hopeful he can play in the NLDS round if it advances. . 3B Nolan Arenado (left quadriceps tightness) missed his second straight game but could play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Have not decided on a starter for Wednesday, though Marmol said LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.46) and RHP Jake Woodford (4-0, 2.33) are possibilities.

Pirates: RHP Johan Oviedo (4-3, 3.12), who was acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, gets the start.