By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — Joey Gallo knows he’s not going to be in the lineup every day. In addition to struggling against left-handers, he has been bothered by a sore hamstring lately.
So when the Texas Rangers left fielder made a rare start in left field Tuesday, the slugging lefty made the most of it.
“Been feeling good,” Gallo said after a mammoth night at the plate. “I just kind of like playing against righties right now. I just try to work as hard as I can with the coaches and just be ready when my name is called.”
Gallo responded by launching two of Texas’ four home runs as the Rangers pounded the Miami Marlins 10-4 at Globe Life Park.
Texas (49-51) evened the three-game interleague series ahead of the rubber match Wednesday night.
The Rangers’ power surge backed a solid showing from Cole Hamels (5-1), who bounced back from his first loss of the season. The left-hander worked six innings, giving up four runs and six hits while striking out five and walking two.
“The hitters came through and really put up some good runs,” Hamels said. “That’s kind of nice. It alleviates a lot of pressure and you can step back and try to get to your game plan and execute.”
Gallo upped his team-high home run total to 25 with his second career multi-homer game in his first start in the outfield since June 3. Mike Napoli added his 22nd long ball and Rougned Odor hit his 20th.
Texas finished with a season-best 31 total bases, the most for the club since totaling 33 against the Houston Astros in 2015. The Rangers had 15 hits, with Napoli and Nomar Mazara leading the way with three apiece.
“We try to put a couple runs up early in the game to Cole,” Mazara said. “We had good at-bats and kept the lineup moving. We were on a roll today.”
Marlins starter Dan Straily (7-6) lasted only four innings, his shortest stint since he also went four innings on June 10. The right-hander gave up a season-high six earned runs and 10 hits.
“Way too many pitches over the plate,” Straily said. “I just didn’t have it tonight. It’s a game I want to forget about as quick as possible.”
Miami (45-53) got a three-run homer from Christian Yelich, who had all four RBIs and three hits.
“He got the little bouncer with the infield in to give him kind of a cheapie, and then he has two good at-bats where it squares it up in left center and hits that rocket to right, so he looked pretty good tonight,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “I still expect (Yelich) to have a big second half and do some damage.”
The Marlins got on the board in the first inning for the second straight night, both times after Dee Gordon opened with a hit. Yelich’s double to right plated the leadoff hitter for a 1-0 lead.
Straily surrendered the early advantage by giving up solo blasts to Napoli in the second and Gallo in the third. Texas wasn’t done in the third. Adrian Beltre added a sacrifice fly and Jonathan Lucroy beat out an infield hit to score Mazara for a 3-1 edge.
Gallo ripped another homer down the right field line to lead off the fourth. Elvis Andrus followed with a one-out triple and came home on a Mazara single to put Texas up 6-1.
Miami cut into the deficit in the fifth against Hamels, with Yelich smashing his 10th home run of the season to score Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton to make it 6-4.
Marlins reliever Brian Ellington replaced Straily in the bottom of the inning and wasn’t much better. The right-hander was promptly greeted by Odor depositing a pitch into the back of the Texas bullpen in left-center field.
After hitting Lucroy and walking Gallo, Ellington gave up a two-run double to Shin-Soo Choo. Andrus followed with a RBI single to make it 10-4 and chase Ellington.