ARLINGTON, Texas — Marcus Semien led off with a homer, Mitch Garver hit two and the Texas Rangers powered their way to a 16-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, becoming just the seventh team since 1900 to start a season by scoring 10 or more runs in consecutive games.
Garver, an Albuquerque native who played at La Cueva and the University New Mexico, ripped a three-run shot over the left-field fence off Phillies reliever Yunior Marte to extend the Rangers’ lead to 7-3 in the fifth inning. Then, Garver sparked what became a six-run seventh with another three-run shot, this time off Seranthony Dominguez.
The Rangers followed their 11-7 victory in the season opener by tying three other teams with 27 runs in two games, second-most since 1900. The 1951 White Sox scored 30.
“It’s good to see these bats come alive here these last two days,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “You see games like this, it just gets contagious. That’s what happened today with the offense.”
Semien got things going early, leading off the bottom of the first with a homer off Phillies starter Zack Wheeler (0-1), but Garver became the star of the game.
It marked Garver’s first action at catcher in a regular-season game since May 8, 2022. Garver was limited to just 15 games at catcher in 2022 due to a forearm injury.
“It feels good to hit two hard balls and have a little bit of resemblance of what I used to do,” Garver said.
Garver said jokingly that “today” was the best he’s felt swinging the bat since his 2022 season ended on July 11 with right forearm flexor tendon repair surgery.
“You’re constantly tweaking with your swing, trying to figure out something that feels good for the day,” he said. “It’s the nature of the beast, just trying to feel good. Then it’s all about competing.”
The Phillies cut a 4-0 deficit to 4-3 with a two-run double by Nick Castellanos in the fourth and an RBI groundout by Kyle Scwarber in the fifth.
But the Rangers pulled away and the Phillies had just one baserunner get into scoring position the final four innings.
Texas right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) earned the win, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts over five innings in his debut with the team.
Wheeler allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.