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Gallo clubs 40th HR as Rangers fall to Halos

September 25, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Joey Gallo picked up the milestones Tuesday, while the Rangers watched somebody else pick up the victory at Angel Stadium.Gallo hit his 40th home run of the season during his first at-bat and recorded his 200th strikeout his second time up during a 4-1 loss to the Angels

ANAHEIM -- Joey Gallo picked up the milestones Tuesday, while the Rangers watched somebody else pick up the victory at Angel Stadium.
Gallo hit his 40th home run of the season during his first at-bat and recorded his 200th strikeout his second time up during a 4-1 loss to the Angels that left Texas with a 66-91 record.
It was the Rangers' seventh loss in nine games, a stretch that also included the firing of manager Jeff Banister on Friday. Interim manager Don Wakamatsu now has a 3-2 record after guiding Texas to a series victory over the Mariners this past weekend.
While Gallo became the fourth hitter in Rangers history to record back-to-back 40-homer campaigns, he stands alone as the only player in franchise history to record 200 strikeouts in a single season. He set the club record last season with 196 strikeouts.
While the 200 strikeouts were something Gallo hoped to avoid, he says he never thought he would hit 40 homers again, knowing how difficult last year's pursuit became.
"It's hard to do; it's real hard to do," Gallo said. "To do that, and to stay healthy all year, that's hard to do. You're playing 162 games, and the second year is always toughest. I knew there would be a dip with people making adjustments so it wasn't something where I said 'I'm going to hit 40 again no problem.'"
There was perhaps some symbolism that Gallo's home run milestone and his strikeout milestone collided not only on the same night, but on consecutive trips to the plate. Gallo's game invites both categories.
"People don't know about his sense of humor," Wakamatsu said. "He came in after that 40th one and I said, 'We got it Joey.' He said, 'Good, well maybe I don't have to play the rest of the year.' It's just his dry sense of humor. But he doesn't know how good he can be."
Texas starter Yovani Gallardo held the Angels scoreless over his first five innings to give the Rangers a chance to take control. Trouble started when Kole Calhoun led off the Halos' half of the sixth with a double. After a Jose Fernandez groundout and an intentional walk to Michael Trout, Gallardo was replaced by Martin Perez.

Shohei Ohtani, who crushed his longest home run of the season in Monday's game, got the Angels on the board with an RBI single. Justin Upton followed with a ground ball to third base, but Jurickson Profar's throwing error allowed Trout to score, giving the Angels a 2-1 lead.
Eddie Butler replaced Perez, but he walked No. 7 hitter Taylor Ward with the bases loaded and Kaleb Cowart brought home the fourth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
Gallardo (8-7) allowed two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings, with three walks and two strikeouts. He was working on his first scoreless outing since July 27 but ended up taking his fourth consecutive loss, two of those coming against the Angels in a span of 13 days.
"I thought [Gallardo] attacked the zone and his stuff was as good as we have seen it in a while," Wakamatsu said. "He gave us some length in there."
Gallo's 40th home run put him on an impressive list with players such as Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez, the only other players in franchise history who have hit at least 40 homers in consecutive seasons.
Rodriguez did it three consecutive years (2001-03), Palmeiro did it in '01 and '02, and Gonzalez made his mark in 1992 and '93 seasons, and also from 1996-98.
Gallo is also one of three left-handed hitters to have multiple 40-homer seasons before turning 25. Ken Griffey Jr. and Eddie Mathews are also on that list.
"When you get to 39 it kind of lingers a little bit, so I'm glad I got it over with pretty quick," said Gallo, who hit No. 39 as a pinch-hitter Sunday. "It's pretty special, I'm not gonna lie. I'm a home-run hitter, so to hit home runs, and hit 40 of them in back-to-back years, that's pretty special for me personally."
The Rangers lost to an American League West opponent for the 44th time this season, marking the most defeats for the Rangers against AL West clubs in the three-division era, which began in 1994.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Rougned Odor slid into each other on an Andrelton Simmons ground ball in the sixth inning, but came away without injuries. Andrus appeared to get the worst of it as Odor's shoulder crashed into his jaw. Andrus actually fielded the ball, with the confusion taking place because Odor was positioned up the middle, but the ball hit toward him suddenly glanced off the mound in Andrus' direction.

"I'm trying to get better, and I feel like I have gotten better, but that's me. That's what I kind of bring to the table. But the way I get pitched to, they don't want me to hit the ball. That's why I get 3-2 offspeed and 3-0 changeups. When they make their pitch, they're probably going to get me, but when they make a mistake, that's when I have to be on my game and hit that pitch and be ready for it," -- Gallo, after striking out for the 200th time this season
Left-hander Yohander Mendez (2-2, 6.04 ERA) will be coming off a rough start when he faces the Halos at 9:07 p.m. CT Wednesday. Mendez allowed eight runs (seven earned) over 3 2/3 innings his last time out, and will look for the form that helped him to five scoreless innings Sept. 14 at San Diego. The Angels will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney (9-10, 4.21).

Doug Padilla is a contributor to based in Anaheim.