Marcus Semien’s home run drought for the Texas Rangers to start the 2022 season ended on Saturday as he hit a grand slam in the fifth inning of the game at the Oakland Athletics.
Semien, who had already walked and scored a run, came to the plate in the fifth with the bases loaded against Athletics reliever Jacob Lemoine and the Rangers already up 5-1.
Semien connected with an 0-1 pitch from Lemoine and took it into the gap in right-center field at Oakland Coliseum. The ball drifted right and slipped just over the wall to clear the bases.
Semien ran the bases with a smile on his face, and was greeted with handshakes and smiles from his teammates.
“I’ve been trying, but it’s nice to see that one go out,” Semien told Bally Sports Southwest after the game.
Semien was closing in on 200 at-bats without a home run to start the season entering the game. His streak without a home run to start the season was the longest of his career.
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After he signed an 7-year, $175-million deal with the Rangers in the offseason, the Rangers were expecting the kind of production he put up before coming to Texas. He hit 45 home runs last season for Toronto and made his first All-Star Game.
He’s hit 10 or more home runs six times in his career, which started in 2013 with the Chicago White Sox.
While Semien’s home run drought was glaring, and his overall average was hovering around .200, there were signs this was coming. He had hits in seven of his last nine games to give him a .324 batting average in that span. He pulled his average up from .157 to .193.
That surge coincided with his move into the leadoff spot this week.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard