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MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles DodgersJun 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) runs out a fly ball against the Texas Rangers during the third inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers will get another crack at their former All-Star shortstop Thursday when they play the deciding game of a three-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers.

On Wednesday, Corey Seager played at Dodger Stadium for the first time since he left the Dodgers after the 2021 season. His three-run home run off former teammate Walker Buehler was the difference in the Rangers’ 3-2 victory.

It was Seager’s 60th regular-season home run at Dodger Stadium and the only one that turned early-game cheers from Los Angeles fans into boos during his next at-bat after he went deep.

“I guess it kind of comes with the territory so I get it,” said Seager, who had missed the previous four games with a left hamstring strain. “I don’t blame them, you know. I get it.”

Five Rangers pitchers held the Dodgers in check, outside of Shohei Ohtani’s home run in the first inning and a ninth-inning rally that nearly tied the score. The Dodgers pulled within a run on a line drive to right-center field by Jason Heyward, but rookie Andy Pages was thrown out at home plate, after a relay throw from second baseman Marcus Semien, for the final out.

“It’s definitely a good feeling from that far out there to see an out call,” Semien said. “That’s what outfielders talk about. Seeing it all unfold from so far away is a good feeling, especially the last out of the game.”

The Rangers are set to send right-hander Michael Lorenzen (3-3, 3.05 ERA) to the mound. Over his past five starts, Lorenzen has a 1.50 ERA. The Southern California native has a 5.91 ERA in eight career relief appearances against the Dodgers.

With his legs getting healthy after a recent hamstring injury, Ohtani appears ready to spring toward another productive run of offense for the Dodgers.

During a 10-game stretch from May 22-June 4, Ohtani batted .175 with one home run as the Dodgers went 4-6 with their star in the lineup. Ohtani sat out the second game of a doubleheader against the Mets on May 28 to give his hamstring a rest.

Ohtani now has three home runs over his past seven games after hitting one Wednesday. He enters with home runs in consecutive games for the first time since a three-game run May 4-6 when he hit four total homers.

“He’s just controlling the strike zone better and when he does that, he’s the best hitter on the planet,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That was a ball that was kind of right at his thigh and he took a really good swing at it (for the home run).”

On the mound, the Dodgers are planning on a bullpen day with right-hander Michael Grove (4-2, 4.72) scheduled to pitch in the first inning.

“Everyone is available except (Anthony) Banda,” Roberts said.

Grove had a one-inning appearance against the Rangers on Tuesday and gave up a run.

Right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto originally was scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Thursday, but his next outing was pushed back to Saturday as Los Angeles continues to build in extra days of rest in their first-year player’s schedule.

–Field Level Media

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