Marcus Semien’s tiebreaking homer goes for naught
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 3, 2014 10:43PM
Marcus Semien was hitless in his first 13 at-bats before battling for a bases-loaded walk Thursday.
Then the rookie infielder picked some kind of spot for his first hit, breaking a tie in the eighth inning with a home run to left field that should’ve been a feel-good finish to the White Sox’ first series of the season.
Sadly for Semien, he had to talk about it in hushed tones inside a quiet clubhouse after the Twins rallied for two runs in the ninth to steal a 10-9 win.
“They had some fight,’’ Semien said. “They did a good job of avoiding the sweep and fighting through down to their last strike. We feel like anytime we get two strikes, two outs in the ninth, it hurts when the other team wins.’’
Semien showed some fight of his own. Batting second and playing because of an injury to Gordon Beckham — who began a rehab assignment at Class AA Birmingham on Thursday night for his strained left oblique — the 2013 Southern League Player of the Year finally got on base with a game-tying, bases-loaded walk in the sixth inning. He then scored on Jose Abreu’s bases-laded triple off the center-field wall.
The homer, against lefty Caleb Thielbar, should help Semien relax when the Sox go on the road to play the Royals this weekend.
“I was just trying to be a little bit more quiet and keep my head on the ball,’’ he said. “I’ve been seeing lefties a little bit better since spring training, and they threw me a fastball middle in, and I put a good swing on it and barreled it up.’’
Semien admitted to getting caught up in the excitement of Opening Day and carrying that over into the second game.
“It’s hard enough competing against a pitcher in any at-bat without putting added pressure on yourself,’’ he said. “That’s what happened [Wednesday]. And I let my early at-bats affect my later at-bats. I tried to do more.’’