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Statcast of the Day: Gallo's long oppo homer

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

CHICAGO -- Rangers first baseman Joey Gallo played it smart in his first at-bat against White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey on Friday.

Gallo knew that Pelfrey had a power sinker that is tough to pull. So when Pelfrey started him out with a 91-mph sinker in the third inning, Gallo was ready and went the other way. He crushed an opposite-field home run for his 21st of the season. The homer put the Rangers on the board in an eventual 8-7 loss to Chicago.

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CHICAGO -- Rangers first baseman Joey Gallo played it smart in his first at-bat against White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey on Friday.

Gallo knew that Pelfrey had a power sinker that is tough to pull. So when Pelfrey started him out with a 91-mph sinker in the third inning, Gallo was ready and went the other way. He crushed an opposite-field home run for his 21st of the season. The homer put the Rangers on the board in an eventual 8-7 loss to Chicago.

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"I'm trying to be better at using the whole field," Gallo said. "His sinker moves a lot, so you want to let it get deep on you and go the other way."

The home run went an estimated 454 feet with a 112.7-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™. That's the longest opposite-field home run by any player -- left- or right-handed -- this season.

Gallo might consider hitting to the opposite field more often. According to Statcast™, Gallo entered the game with the highest average exit velocity (98.1 mph) among left-handed hitters and the second-longest average distance (321 feet) on line drives and fly balls to the opposite field.

But Gallo hits to the opposite field only 23.5 percent of the time. Out of 126 qualified lefty hitters, that's the 26th-lowest.

In other words, Gallo can hit them pretty far the other way -- just as he can when he pulls the ball.

"That's what I have been working on," Gallo said. "That's what I didn't do earlier in the year."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo