Marcus Semien, Rangers face Angels in rubber game

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Days off are not part of the plan for Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

The 32-year-old has played in all but one game this season, and he has no plans to take a breather any time soon. Not even with a day game scheduled for Thursday.

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Semien also has been one of the hottest hitters in the American League in September, and he’s expected to be in the lineup in Thursday’s matinee when the Rangers close out their three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels in Arlington, Texas. The teams split the first two games.

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“(Semien is) an everyday player,” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said on his radio pregame show. “He takes pride in conditioning himself to play every day. He has a regimen and routine that he sticks to each and every day when he comes to the ballpark. It’s important to him that he plays in all 162.”

Semien had his eight-game hit streak snapped on Wednesday in Texas’ 7-2 win. Still, in September, the veteran second baseman is hitting .333.

Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani has hit safely in seven straight games and is batting .360 in that stretch.

In Thursday’s series finale, the Rangers (64-84) will start All-Star left-hander Martin Perez (12-6, 2.84 ERA). The Angels (65-84) are going with right-hander Michael Lorenzen (7-6, 4.74).

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The Angels are a half-game ahead of the Rangers for third place in the American League West. Texas leads the season series 9-6.

Perez has been Texas’ most reliable starter as well as one of the AL’s top left-handers.

With 177 1/3 innings, that’s his third-highest total in 11 seasons. In 2016, the southpaw logged 198 2/3 innings, and in 2017, he finished with 185.

Thursday’s start will be No. 30 for the southpaw in 2022.

Already this season, Perez has faced the Angels twice and is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings. For his career, he’s 8-6 (3.83) in 22 games (18 starts) against Los Angeles.

Lorenzen has faced Texas just twice in his career and he wasn’t involved in any decisions in two scoreless innings.

In his last start, Lorenzen picked up a win on Sept. 16 against the Seattle Mariners, giving up three earned runs in five innings with six strikeouts.

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The Angels, winners of four of six, have 13 games remaining. To avoid a 90-loss season they must go at least 8-5 the rest of the way. The last time Los Angeles lost as many as 91 games was 1999 (70-92).

One reason the Angels have been better of late is the play of infielder Luis Rengifo.

“He’s been getting a chance to play every day,” interim manager Phil Nevin said recently in an story. “And I like the way he’s been playing defense.”

At the plate, Rengifo has been coming up with some big hits as well. Batting .274, the infielder had an infield single in four at-bats on Wednesday.

“I’m just trying to see the ball good and hit it,” he said. “Nevin and the front office and all the guys have given me the opportunity to play every day. I’m just trying to have fun and play hard.”

–Field Level Media

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