MLB: Corey Seager and Rangers, playing like champs, visit improving Marlins

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The Texas Rangers, coming off the first World Series title in franchise history, may be poised to shake their championship hangover.

Texas, set to visit the Miami Marlins on Friday to start a three-game series, is finally getting hot.

The Rangers have followed a season-worst six-game losing streak by winning three straight contests.

Shortstop Corey Seager has keyed the Texas revival. After finishing April with just two homers and eight RBIs, he has caught fire in May – 11 dingers and 21 runs driven in this month.

“He’s carrying us,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “I don’t know what else to say. He’s just an incredible hitter.”

In fact, Seager has eight homers in his past eight games.

“Extremely impressive,” Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning said after Seager homered again in Texas’ 6-1 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

As a team, the Rangers have homered in 13 consecutive games, the longest streak in MLB this season.

“Hitting’s contagious,” Seager said. “We’re just starting to roll.”

On Friday, the Rangers will start former Marlins right-hander Jose Urena (1-4, 3.53 ERA).

Miami is the only team Urena has yet to face.

Urena, 32, spent the first six years of his career with the Marlins, going 32-46 with a 4.60 ERA.

Overall, he is 40-73 with a 4.82 ERA.

The Rangers on Friday are expecting to have second baseman Marcus Semien back in the lineup. Due to general soreness, Semien sat out Wednesday’s game, breaking his streak of 349 consecutive games played.

Semien last season drove in 100 runs, an American League record for a leadoff batter. He also hit 40 doubles, four triples and 29 homers.

This season, he has 12 doubles, one triple, nine homers and 34 RBIs. And, since the start of 2021, he has slugged 109 homers.

Meanwhile, the Marlins sit in last place in the National League East with 10 wins at home and the same number on the road.

Yet, the Marlins, who banged out a season-high 16 hits in a 9-1 win over the visiting San Diego Padres on Wednesday, have been playing better lately.

They have won four of their past five series.

“Our offense broke out finally, which was good to see,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said after Wednesday’s win. “But when we pitch and play defense (well), we usually win.”

The Marlins on Friday will start right-hander Sixto Sanchez (0-3, 6.25 ERA).

Miami is 2-4 this year when starting Sanchez, who hasn’t won a game – in the majors or minors – since 2020.

Over the next three seasons, Sanchez pitched just one inning, and that was in the minors, as he dealt with serious arm injuries.

This season, Sanchez — who has never faced Texas — is allowing 11.1 hits per nine innings. He has a walk rate of 3.7 and a strikeout rate of only 4.8.

On offense, Miami is led by center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr., who last year had 19 homers and 22 steals.

This year, he is on pace for what would be his first 20-20 season. He has eight homers and 10 steals.

-Field Level Media

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