Playoff-chasing Rangers get boost with return of two All-Stars: rookie 3B Jung and RF Garcia

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The playoff-chasing Texas Rangers got two All-Star players back in their lineup Monday night, when rookie third baseman Josh Jung and slugging right fielder Adolis García were both activated from the injured list.

With Jung and Garcia back, it was the first time since July 21 that Texas had on the field together all five of its position players who started for the American League in the All-Star Game in Seattle only 10 days before that.

But that wasn’t enough to spark the Rangers, who fell 4-2 to the Boston Red Sox for their fourth loss in a row.

Jung had been out six weeks since fracturing his left thumb. García, who had 34 homers and was the AL leader with 100 RBIs when he got hurt Sept. 6, had missed 10 games because of a patellar tendon strain in his right knee.

After watching both players take early batting practice Monday, manager Bruce Bochy said Jung would be in the lineup but García still needed to go through some other drills and visit with a doctor. About a half-hour before first pitch, a new lineup was posted with Jung batting fifth and García sixth.

Jung finished 1 for 4 with a single in the ninth inning, and Garcia went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Both had multiple defensive opportunities without any issues.

“I thought Josh, he looked good, played a good third base, hard contact,” Bochy said. “(Garcia), he did get a walk there and looked like he saw the ball really well in that at-bat, but he’s missed some time, so hopefully he gets it going here soon.”

To make room on the 28-man roster, catcher-first baseman Sam Huff and infielder Jonathan Ornelas were both optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

After being swept in three games at Cleveland over the weekend, the Rangers opened their final homestand 1 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Houston — and stayed there after the Astros lost at home to AL East-leading Baltimore.

But Seattle won at Oakland later Monday to tie Texas (82-68) for the American League's third and final wild card. Texas will play seven of its last 10 games against the Mariners.

Jung was a leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year before getting hurt on a bizarre play Aug. 6 against Miami.

Jorge Soler hit a 110 mph line drive directly at Jung. The ball bounded out of his glove but he grabbed it and started a double play by tagging the bag and throwing to second. Jung then left the game.

In 109 games, Jung had hit .274 with 22 homers and 67 RBIs. He was leading all major league rookies in homers, RBIs, hits (117), runs (70) and extra-base hits (47) when he got hurt. He had only three errors in 290 total chances at third base for a .990 fielding percentage before getting hurt.

Monday was the first day García was eligible to come off the 10-day IL. He got hurt after his unsuccessful leaping attempt to prevent a home run while playing right field in a 12-3 loss to Houston, which hit 16 homers in a three-game sweep at Texas. García’s right leg jammed hard to the ground and his knee buckled when he came down after leaping at the wall.

Of the team's six All-Stars this season, all but second baseman Marcus Semien have had IL stints since the showcase two months ago. They are also without two injured Cy Young Award winners.

Shortstop Corey Seager and switch-hitting catcher Jonah Heim were already back in the lineup. Right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who was with the Red Sox the past five seasons, is scheduled Tuesday for his fourth start since missing seven weeks with a strained right forearm.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the regular season, and likely the playoffs as well if the Rangers make it, because of a muscle strain in his shoulder after his start last week. Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom had season-ending elbow surgery after Texas won each of his six starts before the end of April. He signed a $185 million, five-year contract in free agency last winter after nine seasons with the Mets.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb