ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager had a two-run home run among three hits and Jon Gray won in his first start against his former club as the Texas Rangers beat the Colorado Rockies 11-5 on Saturday.
The surprising AL West leaders (28-17) are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season and one win short of the franchise’s best record through the first 45 games.
The Rangers, averaging a major league-best 6.20 runs per game, knocked out Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (4-5) after two innings — scoring four runs in each. Freeland, coming off six shutout innings in beating Philadelphia last Sunday on his 30th birthday, allowed five earned runs and nine hits with no strikeouts.
Seager’s homer, his second of the season, carried 423 feet to straight-away center to give Texas a 10-run lead. It was his first multi-hit game since he returned to the active roster on Wednesday after missing 31 games with a strained left hamstring.
Last year in his first Texas season, Seager set a major league record for left-handed-hitting shortstops with 33 homers.
“This guy missed, what, six weeks? He steps right in and starts swinging the bat the way he does,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “It shows you just how good of a hitter he is.”
Gray (4-1), who spent his first seven big-league seasons with Colorado before signing with Texas in December 2021, allowed one run and five hits in five innings, throwing 93 pitches. He struck out six and walked two. His career-best 17-inning scoreless streak ended in the fourth inning on the first of Harold Castro’s two RBI hits.
Gray was initially on the ropes, loading the bases on two opposite-field hits and a walk to begin the game. He then retired Elias Diaz, fifth in the majors with a .459 batting average with runners in scoring position, to begin a string of 10 straight Rockies set down.
“If you go revisionist history, every play is dependent on each other,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. That included Freeland not getting over to cover first base on what became a Nathaniel Lowe a run-scoring infield single in the first inning.
“That’s totally on me,” said Freeland, who said he thought first baseman Mike Moustakas was playing shallower and would instead have had a play at the plate. As for his pitching, Freeland said, “I simply could not command the baseball.”
It was Gray’s first home win this season in four starts, with a 4.09 earned run average. He’s 3-0 away in five starts from Globe Life Field with a 2.20 ERA.
The Rangers lead the majors with 11 games of double-digit runs, already more than they had last season.
Rangers RF Adolis Garcia was awarded an RBI when he reached on a fielding error by third baseman Ryan McMahon in the second inning, increasing his majors-high total to 49. ... Seager went 1 for 2 against Freeland, raising his career batting average against the Colorado left-hander to .609 (14 for 23). ... Freeland remains tied for seventh place in career Rockies pitching wins at 53 with Pedro Astacio and Gray. ... Rockies LF Jurickson Profar went 3 for 5 to extend his on-base streak to 28 games, the longest active streak in the major leagues and the third longest overall this season.
Rockies: RHP Connor Seabold (1-0, 5.14 ERA) will make his fourth start after making seven relief appearances in April.
Rangers: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-3, 4.71) is 0-2 in his last four starts.