Mitch Garver, another of the Texas newcomers, got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded against his former team in what will be his final series this season. The catcher will have surgery next week for a lingering injury.
Seager's 17th homer capped a six-run outburst in the fifth for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Friday night. It came in the 81st game for Texas, which just got swept by Baltimore in three consecutive one-run losses.
“Any time you have success in something you’ve struggled in, it kind of shows you how it works, what to expect, what it could be like,” Seager said. “That’s kind of what we’re looking for, is what it can be like, what it feels like to actually go out and do that.”
Carlos Correa hit an early two-run homer for the Twins, and center fielder Byron Buxton made a highlight catch crashing into the wall in the fourth after left fielder Nick Gordon went in front of him with an unsuccessful leaping attempt on the warning track.
Buxton stretched his gloved left hand out to make the catch just before going into the side of the angled wall in left-center to take a hit away from Marcus Semien nearly 400 feet from the plate. Buxton stayed on his back for about 10 seconds before getting helped up by Gordon.
“I was baffled. I mean, there’s no way that would get caught,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
The Rangers opened their decisive fifth by loading the bases on two singles and a walk before Garver, who played his first five big league seasons with the Twins before getting traded in March, was hit by a pitch. Leody Taveras hit a deep sacrifice fly for the first out and rookie Josh Smith’s RBI single tied the game.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he was denied in his attempt to challenge whether Garver made an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch that grazed his elbow.
“It’s tough when a few things don’t go your way,” Baldelli said. “You know, last inning, the ball’s on the line. It’s a fair ball, and it’s called foul.”
Before striking out to start the ninth, Buxton hit a hard chopper down the line that appeared to hit the chalk behind third base. Smith was unable to make a backhanded pick, but the ball was called foul by umpire Angel Hernandez, who was behind him.
Texas had only two base runners in the first four innings against Sonny Gray (4-2), who gave up a season-high five runs and lost for the first time in 10 starts. Seager greeted lefty reliever Caleb Thielbar by pulling a 396-foot drive into the right-field seats for a 6-3 lead.
“We just couldn't find a way to get through that inning ... and couldn’t make it up later,” Baldelli said.
Garver said after the game that he will have surgery Monday to repair a torn flexor muscle in his right arm that has bothered him all season. He has been limited to hitting only since coming off the injured list May 19, and last caught May 8.
“It was in the back of my mind for a long time. It’s something that has to happen,” Garver said. “I’ve been getting treatment every single day for the past 2 1/2 months trying to get this thing figured out or, you know, make it manageable. And here we are.”
Texas starter Jon Gray (5-4) struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings, departing after a two-run homer by No. 9 batter Ryan Jeffers that cut the gap to 6-5. Gray allowed nine hits and five runs, only three of those earned because of three errors.
After Luis Arraez reached on an error to start the game, Correa snapped an 0-for-14 slide with his 10th homer. ... Minnesota had won seven consecutive road games against the Rangers, including its only previous three games at Globe Life Field. ... Inside under the closed retractable roof, it was more than 30 degrees cooler than the outside temperature of 104 degrees when the game started.
Twins: Baldelli said RHP Joe Smith (upper trap tightness), who last pitched in a game June 23, threw a bullpen session. The Twins will see how he feels Saturday, though they have no plans to activate the reliever then.
Rangers: Right-handed reliever Matt Bush (right forearm tightness) is eligible to come off the injured list as early as Sunday after being out since June 25. Woodward believes it has been a good break for Bush, who the manager said feels good and normal.
Rangers left-hander Martín Pérez (7-2, 2.34 ERA), who has won his last seven decisions, makes his final start before the All-Star pitchers are named Sunday. Minnesota lefty Devein Smeltzer (4-2, 3.04) has allowed only four earned runs over 18 innings his last three starts.
- Home Plate Umpire - Adam Hamari
- First Base Umpire - James Hoye
- Second Base Umpire - Alex Mackay
- Third Base Umpire - Angel Hernandez