'Banged up' Marcus Semien gets a day off after 349 consecutive games for Texas Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien got a day off for the first time in more than two years Wednesday when he didn't play against the Arizona Diamondbacks, ending his consecutive games streak at 349.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Semien had been sore since a collision in the outfield with right fielder Adolis García on May 18. The second baseman had played in all eight games since then, and was in a 1-for-20 slide the past five games.

“He's been playing banged up. That’s a pretty good collision out there in right field, and he knows it’s time to try to get this thing cleared up, freshen up a little bit,” Bochy said. “This will get him a couple days.”

The Rangers have a day off Thursday before opening a weekend series in Miami. Semien didn't get into their 6-1 win Wednesday. Bochy had said before the game that Semien didn't even need to bring his spikes in the dugout, and the manager didn't want him swinging a bat.

“That was a little different,” first baseman Nathaniel Lowe said.

Shortstop Corey Seager, who hit his eighth homer in eight games, described it as strange not having Semien hitting before him or being to his left on the field.

“Every once in a while, it's OK,” Seager said. “I'm sure he'll be back out there on Friday.”

Only Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson had a longer consecutive games streak than Semien. Olson was in the Braves' lineup Wednesday night against Washington for his 511th consecutive game since May 2, 2021.

Semien wasn't in the Rangers clubhouse when it was open to reporters after the game.

In the game that Semien got hurt, he was running out and García was coming in on a popup to shallow right field in the sixth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels. Semien collided into García who had pulled up and gone down to a knee to get the ball after it dropped to the ground. Semien took a hard tumble, though both players stayed in and finished the Rangers’ 3-2 win in 13 innings.

García was scratched from the starting lineup the next day because of right forearm soreness.

Bochy said Wednesday that Semien got hit in the head and neck area in that collision, and was still having stiffness in his upper back. Semien is hitting .249 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 55 games this season.

Travis Jankowski was in the leadoff spot for the Rangers as the designated hitter against Arizona, and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Ezequiel Duran was at second base batting ninth, and was 1 for 3.

Semien had been in the Rangers starting lineup every game since May 13, 2022, which was during his first season with Texas after signing a $175 million, seven-year contract in free agency. His 349 consecutive games is the third-longest streak in franchise history.

It was the first time since Bochy became the Rangers manager before the 2023 season that Semien wasn't at the top of his lineup. The second baseman had been in the leadoff spot for Bochy in 234 consecutive games, 217 in the regular season and 17 last postseason on way to their first World Series championship.

“It was mutual. We talked,” Bochy said. “Now we’ve had conversations the last two or three days, Marcus was being Marcus then, but he agrees that it’s a good time to take a day.”



Stephen Hawkins, The Associated Press