ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rookie Alec Burleson pulled a first-pitch homer to right field in the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Texas 1-0 on Wednesday night, ending Rangers infielder Marcus Semien’s hitting streak at 25 games.
Semien was 0 for 4 to stop the longest streak in the major leagues this season and the longest of his career. The streak tied for the second longest in club history, behind Gabe Kapler’s 28-gamer in 2000.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” Semien said. “If I got up in the ninth, walked and scored a run, I would have been happy.”
St. Louis salvaged the final game of a trip following five losses and ended the surging Rangers’ five-game winning streak.
Jordan Hicks (1-3) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the victory, and Ryan Helsley finished for his seventh save in 11 attempts. Jonah Heim sent center fielder Tommy Edman to the warning track for the second out of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Mitch Garver ended the game with a looping fly to shallow left field that was grabbed by shortstop Paul DeJong.
The Cardinals handed the majors’ highest scoring team – averaging 6.43 runs per game going into Wednesday – their fifth shutout loss of the season. Texas is 1-2 in 1-0 games at 4-year-old Globe Life Field; one of the wins was in 10 innings.
Burleson pulled a slider low and inside off Jon Gray (6-2), who pitched his second career complete game, for his sixth big-league homer. He signaled to the visitors’ dugout on the third base side as he rounded third.
“I saw it early and was able to put a good swing on it,” Burleson said. “With him, you’ve got to pick a pitch.”
Gray saw a personal six-game winning streak. He allowed four hits, walked none, and struck out a season-high 12. Gray has allowed only four earned runs in his last 43 innings.
“He’s a really good hitter down and in with spin,” said Gray, who threw 76 strikes among his 100 pitches. “It was supposed to be away.”
The Cardinals left only one runner on base, in the ninth inning, with three erased earlier on the base paths. Nolan Arenado led off the second with a single to center but was erased on a double play. Arenado doubled down the left-field line to begin the fifth but, trying to advance to third on Alec Burleson’s long flyout to left, was thrown out – the initial safe call reversed following video review. Jordan Walker was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth but was thrown out trying to steal second by Gray.
Texas conversely left nine runners aboard. That included three in the first when Jack Flaherty issued three straight one-out walks, but he struck out Heim and retired Travis Jankowski on a groundout.
Flaherty left after six innings, throwing 105 pitches. He gave up two hits and walked five.
Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson (ankle sprain) DH’ed the full game on Wednesday night for Triple-A Memphis, going 0 for 3 with a walk. … RHP Jake Woodford (shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to pitch 3-4 innings on Thursday for Memphis.
Rangers: RHP Spencer Howard (lat strain), who hasn’t pitched this season, was activated. RHP Jonathan Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-7, 4.23 ERA) will open a three-game home series on Friday night against Cincinnati RHP Ben Lively (3-3, 3.03).
Rangers: A three-game series at Tampa Bay between the teams with the A.L.’s best records will begin on Friday night with Texas LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.03) facing Rays RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 3.72).