Rangers’ Corey Seager may be spectator vs. Dodgers, his former club

When the Los Angeles Dodgers play host to the Texas Rangers for the start of a three-game series Tuesday, the main attraction might be an observer.

Former Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was expected to make his return to Los Angeles but he is dealing with left hamstring tightness that has kept him out of the past three Rangers games.

Seager was a star for the Dodgers over six full seasons, winning National League Rookie of the Year in 2016 and then World Series MVP when he guided Los Angeles to the title in 2020. He signed as a free agent with the Rangers before the 2022 season and led the charge to another title last season with Texas when he again was named World Series MVP.

On Sunday, the Rangers won the finale of a weekend series against the San Francisco Giants without Seager and the veteran shortstop downplayed the severity of his latest injury, while giving no assurances he would play against the Dodgers, either.

The Rangers nearly lost another middle infielder in Sunday’s 7-2 win when Marcus Semien was hit in the helmet by a fastball on the first pitch of the game. But he remained in the contest, scored the first run and hit a home run in the victory.

The Rangers are just 9-17 going back to the start of a five-game losing streak on May 10.

“Everybody’s been talking about how bad we’ve been,” Semien told reporters Sunday. “It’s good to kind of break out.”

Texas was undecided on a starter for Tuesday’s series opener.

The Dodgers won two of three games over the New York Yankees in a high-profile series over the weekend, but lost the finale 6-4 when New York’s Trent Grisham hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning.

Teoscar Hernandez was Los Angeles’ offensive force over the weekend, hitting three home runs, including a grand slam among his two homers in an 11-3 victory Saturday.

Since a season-long five-game losing streak late last month, the Dodgers are 8-4.

Winning two out of every three games is what the Dodgers were built to do, but the first 60-plus games have not completely lined up with expectations in regard to the talent on the field. The Dodgers still have a commanding lead in the National League West, but the quest for more consistency continues.

“We did alright,” Dodgers star Mookie Betts told reporters at the completion of the Yankees series. “There’s obviously a lot of things that we have to fix. I mean, situational hitting. I think that’s one of the main things. Just making sure (we’re) playing the game the right way, doing everything the right way because come postseason time we’re going to have to execute those things.”

The Dodgers will open the series against the Rangers with left-hander James Paxton on the mound. Paxton (5-1, 4.19 ERA) absorbed his only loss of the season when he lasted 1 2/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, giving up seven runs (six earned) on six hits.

In 15 career starts against Texas, tied for his most against any club, he is 3-4 with a 4.40 ERA. He has not faced the Rangers since 2019. In one September outing, he had a 12-strikeout game against them.

–Field Level Media