Marcus Semien homers to break 8th-inning tie, Rangers beat Reds 2-1

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Marcus Semien homered to break an eighth-inning tie, helping the Rangers beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 on Friday night.

Semien pulled a 1-1 fastball from Lucas Sims (1-1) down the line in left.

Jacob Latz, José Leclerc (2-2) and Kirby Yates retired the final nine Cincinnati batters, Yates getting his fourth save in four chances. Texas’ bullpen has thrown 16 straight scoreless innings.

Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi held the Reds to three singles through six innings after allowing a run in the first on three walks, three stolen bases and an error.

The Rangers, who led the American League in runs last year en route to winning the World Series, hit .226 in their previous 12 games and scored Friday on two homers. Evan Carter pulled Texas even at 1, leading off the second with a home run to right off starter Graham Ashcraft.

“We play good defense. I think that’s our identity,” Semien said. “We’ve been pitching the ball great. Evo battled. The bullpen’s been great, and we hit a couple balls out.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer drew one-out walks. De La Cruz advanced to third base on Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s fly out to right. On the first pitch to Tyler Stephenson, Steer broke for second, Jonah Heim’s throw sailed into center field and De La Cruz was credited with stealing home.

De La Cruz’s steal of the plate, added to Steer’s steal of home April 6, gave the Reds two steals of home in one month for the first time since Joe Morgan and Pete Rose did it in April 1978.

The Reds, who were shut out in two of their previous four games, struck out 12 times.

Eovaldi matched a season high with eight strikeouts, allowing the one run on three hits plus five walks — three in the first inning — pitching six innings.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done tonight, but we will in the future,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’ll continue to work and look for those opportunities.”

Ashcraft, who won his previous three starts, pitched a season-high 6 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on seven hits, striking out three with no walks.

Corey Seager, last year’s World Series MVP, snapped an 0-for-18 slump in the sixth inning with an infield single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: OF Jake Fraley (illness) was available after missing the four previous games. … OF TJ Friedl (right wrist fracture) and LHP Alex Young (low back disc degeneration) were scheduled to begin rehab assignments at extended spring training. … RHP Frankie Montas (forearm contusion) should throw this weekend.

Rangers: LHP Cody Bradford, placed on the 15-day injured list April 14 with back soreness, has been diagnosed with a rib stress fracture.

UP NEXT

The Reds have lost all five starts made this season by RHP Hunter Greene (0-2, 4.55 ERA), who will start Saturday in the middle game of the series. Greene will face Rangers RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-0, 2.45), who spent his first seven big league seasons with Cincinnati.

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