via Texas Rangers
DETROIT — Joey Gallo embraces the descriptor “power hitter” for himself, and he knows what that means. Power hitters make a lot of good contact, but the ball isn’t always sailing over the fence, and sometimes it’s just an unlucky out.
So when Gallo crushed a 453-foot two-run home run to right field in the second inning of Thursday’s 7-5 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park, it offered him a sense of relief.
“Wow, I needed that,” Gallo said, as he went back into the dugout after getting the Rangers on the board.
Gallo’s 21st home run of the season was the second-longest home run of the season for the Rangers and Gallo, after a 466-foot homer he slugged against the Red Sox on May 5. The lefty slugger entered Thursday’s game with the fourth-lowest qualifying batting average in the AL at .191, following a 5-for-44 slump over his last 14 games. According to Statcast™, Gallo has an 11.2 barrel percentage, good for fourth in the Majors.
“I feel good,” Gallo said. “I don’t feel overmatched. I feel like I’m on every pitch in every at-bat.”
Gallo’s home run started a streak of three straight innings where the Rangers got multiple runs across the plate. After Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in Jurickson Profar with a single to make it 5-0 in the fourth, the game went into a 29-minute rain delay. Ronald Guzman was due up next.
“Once they said we start in 10 minutes, I went to the cage and took a couple hacks,” Guzman said.
And that was apparently all he needed. After working his way to a 2-2 count, Guzman hit the Rangers’ second two-run homer of the night, this one also to right field, to extend the lead to 7-0. Since coming back from the concussion list on Tuesday, Guzman is 6-for-12.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (4-7) finished out the inning, but the Rangers worked him for seven hits and seven runs (six earned) over four frames.
“What has proved to be a really good winning formula for us is when we do get production from the bottom part of that lineup,” said manager Jeff Banister, who recorded his 300th career win. “If you look at six through nine tonight, they were the ones that did the most damage.”
The Rangers entered Thursday’s tilt on a three-game losing skid, so getting a four-game series against the struggling Tigers was the cure for at least one night. But as the final score shows, Texas didn’t get a lead and cruise to a win.
Yovani Gallardo (3-0) was strong going into the fourth, when the Tigers strung together three RBI singles to cut the lead to 7-3. Detroit tagged Gallardo with one more in the sixth on a home run by Niko Goodrumto make it a 7-4 game. Gallardo went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk, striking out two. He was aided by four double plays, one in every inning from the second through the fifth.
The Tigers made it interesting in the ninth with Keone Kela on to close. Victor Reyes hit an RBI single with no outs to cut the lead to 7-5, but Kela pitched out of the jam against the top of the Tigers’ lineup to extend his franchise record to 21 consecutive saves to start the season.