By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — With all of their All-Stars back in the lineup, the Texas Rangers are starting to feel good again going into their most important stretch of the season.
“This is more who we were,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Marcus Semien drove in three runs from the top of the order and scored for the AL-best 115th time, Jonah Heim and Mitch Garver hit back-to-back homers and the playoff-chasing Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 15-5 on Wednesday. All-Star third baseman Josh Jung, in his third game back after missing six weeks with a fractured left thumb, and fellow rookie Evan Carter each added two-run homers.
“Great at-bats up and down the lineup, guys hitting mistakes for homers and guys taking their walks,” said Heim, the switch-hitting All-Star catcher. “It’s encouraging to see, and just got to keep putting it together.”
Texas (84-68) remained a half-game behind Houston for the AL West lead after the Astros (85-68) had a walk-off win over AL East-leading Baltimore to avoid being swept in three games at home. The Rangers are tied with division foe Seattle for the American League’s third and final wild-card spot. The Mariners beat Oakland 6-3 Wednesday before heading to Texas for a three-game weekend series.
All-Star right fielder Adolis Garcia, in his third game back after missing 10 games with a right patellar tendon strain in his right knee, walked in the second inning and scored on Heim’s homer. That was the 100th run scored this season for Garcia, who got his 102nd RBI with a double in the fourth.
“You look at the two guys we just got back, I love their at-bats,” Bochy said. “It stretches out your lineup. … It’s always good to have success, it breeds confidence as they say, and you can see it in the guys right now.”
The Rangers play seven of their last 10 games against the Mariners, including the last four in Seattle.
Semien is the only of the Rangers six All-Stars, including pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who hasn’t had a stint on the injured list. The second baseman is the lone Ranger to start all 152 games, plus the All-Star Game on July 11 with teammates Garcia, Heim, Jung and shortstop Corey Seager — who all have since missed time injured. Eovaldi was out seven weeks with a forearm strain.
Veteran left-hander Martin Perez (10-4) struck out five over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jon Gray, who has allowed 11 runs over 8 2/3 innings his last three starts.
“He’s done a tremendous job since he’s gone to the bullpen. He’s picked us up so many times,” Bochy said of Perez, an All-Star last season and a starter until Texas acquired Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline.
“They know that I’m a starter. … It doesn’t matter if you’re from the bullpen or if I have to start game, I just want to get people out and help my team to win,” Perez said.
Boston, last in the AL East, lost for the 12th time in 15 games even after jumping ahead 4-0. Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer in the first and Bobby Dalbec had a leadoff shot in the second off Gray.
The first seven Texas batters reached base in the bottom of the second off Brayan Bello (12-10). Heim’s three-run homer came just before Garver went deep, and Semien’s two-run single snapped the 4-all tie and put Texas ahead to stay.
Semien drew a bases-loaded walk in the third after an RBI single by Leody Taveras, who added a sacrifice fly an inning later.
Bello allowed eight runs and eight hits over three innings. He walked four, hit a batter and struck out two.
LOTS OF HITS AND RUNS
Texas, which finished with 16 hits, broke franchise records with at least 10 runs for the 26th time and 15 runs for the sixth time. The Rangers had 25 games with 10 runs in 2008, and five games with 15 runs in 1998. … Every Texas starter had a base hit and scored a run, and only one didn’t have an RBI. Jung had three hits and scored three times. Carter, in his 13th big league game, also had three hits and scored twice.
100/100 FOR GARCIA
Garcia is the only the second Rangers player in the past 18 seasons to score 100 runs and drive in 100. The other in that span was Josh Hamilton in 2012, when he had 128 RBIs and 103 runs scores.
Red Sox: 2B Luis Urias exited the game with left calf tightness. He was lifted for a pinch-runner after his single in the seventh inning.
Red Sox: Boston opens its final homestand Friday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Rangers: After their final off day of the regular season, the Rangers open their final home series against Seattle on Friday night.
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