ARLINGTON -- As Adolis García stopped and stared at the ball he just torched on Monday night, he dropped his bat and began his trot around the bases.
The outfielder had just launched his 20th home run of the season, a 453-foot blast into the second deck at Target Field for the longest homer by a Rangers hitter this season. What he didn’t know at the time was that it was also the longest of his career.
“I knew I had hit one 440 [feet] or something close earlier this year,” García said through interpreter Raul Cardenas, “but I didn’t know [this one was a career high] until [Bally Sports sideline reporter] Lesley McCaslin mentioned it to me postgame.”
For all of García’s flair in the moment, his solo shot couldn’t have come at a better time. He tied the game in the fifth inning of the 2-1 Rangers win over the Twins. Texas secured a series victory over Minnesota, taking three of four from the AL Central club.
“That was big,” interim manager Tony Beasley said of García’s homer. “That tied the ballgame and we needed that, because I did not want to enter the fifth or sixth inning against this ballclub down because of what they can do in the bullpen. They can really shut you down in the late innings.”
An RBI single from Corey Seager in the sixth inning would ultimately be the difference-maker.
García extended his career-high hitting streak to 19 games with his homer. During those 19 games, he’s gone 23-for-77 (.299). It’s the longest active streak in MLB and the longest by any outfielder in 2022.
With the homer, he also tied Elvis Andrus (2018) and Adrián Beltré (2011) for the longest hitting streak by a Rangers batter in the past 12 seasons. The longest hitting streak in Texas history is held by Gabe Kapler (28 games in 2000).
“Adolis is a dynamic player,” Beasley said. “That’s No. 1. When he puts his mind to something and when he's focused, he can do some special things on the baseball field in all aspects. So it doesn't surprise me, anything that he does.
“Nothing that he can do on the baseball field surprises me, whether it’s a hit streak or making an unbelievable play or stealing bases. He plays the whole game. He has that mindset about it. He can grab another gear when he needs it. He's just exciting to watch.”
García has thrived since the All-Star break, especially on the road. In 18 games away from Globe Life Field in the second half of the season, he’s hitting .319 (23-for-72) with five doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs.
His post-All-Star break surge is notable because of his struggles in the second half of his rookie year in 2021. During his first 80 games last season, he slashed .270/.312/.527 with an .840 OPS amid a breakout performance. But in the final 69, he struggled to match his early success, slashing .211/.256/.370 with a .627 OPS.
Beasley said it’s been both mental and physical when it comes to describing García’s consistency this season.
Mentally, he’s adjusted to the grind of a full 162-game season, but physically, he’s learned to control the strike zone a little bit more and take his walks when they come to him. He’s learned to shorten his swing when he needs to and drives the ball to all fields, especially with two strikes.
“I think last year kind of took a toll on us, you know,” García said. “... So this year has been a little different -- the competition and whatnot has kept me going and kept the adrenaline going.
“I feel really good, and I’m just really content with where I’m at right now. I just want to continue doing what I’ve been doing. I’m not trying to do a lot, just trying to keep it simple mentally."