Gallo homers, flirts with cycle in MLB debut
Delights teammates, fans and parents by going 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs
ARLINGTON -- Even the veterans who had been around a long time couldn't help but express their admiration for what Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo did in his Major League debut during the Ranger's 15-2 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night.
"Impressive," injured third baseman Adrian Beltre said.
"I've never really seen that. ... Amazing," designated hitter Prince Fielder said. "He did what everybody expected. It's hard to do that."
"That easy?" catcher Carlos Corporan said. "For real. It's that easy. We lost one of the best players and we bring that guy from Double-A and perform the way he did was freaking awesome."
Manager Jeff Banister was especially articulate after watching Gallo go 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.
"This is why I get to do what I do and why I love what I do," Banister said. "All the hype, incredible evening for a young man. Really, rarely do they come up and meet all of the expectations in their first night. All you had to do was listen to the crowd, by the third time he came up to the plate and they let you know how his night was doing. Really, all in all, it was a pretty spectacular night for a young man in his debut."
The four RBIs in a Major League debut is a new Rangers record. The last time a Rangers player had three hits in his Major League debut was Rusty Greer in 1994.
"It was great," Gallo said. "I can't put into words what it means. When I go to the hotel and sit down, it will really hit me hard, but right now, it just feels like we won a game."
Gallo was playing in front of his parents, Tony and Laura, who came in from Las Vegas and were allowed to sit in second-row seats that have been owned by former club president Tom Schieffer since the ballpark opened in 1994.
"I think just the experience, having my parents there was so special, having them come on the field after, and for us to win like that, it was amazing," Gallo said.
Gallo came up for the first time in the first inning after the Rangers loaded the bases on consecutive two-out singles by Fielder, Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus off of White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija.
Gallo took a pitch for a ball, fouled one off and then hit a hard grounder right at first baseman Adam LaRoche. But the ball took a wicked hop and got through LaRoche, scoring two runs on what was deemed a single. A two-run single by Leonys Martin made it 4-0 before the inning was over.
"The first at-bat, I was just trying to put the ball in play, and I was just happy to hit it," Gallo said. "After that, I kind of got that first hit out of the way, and I was able to just relax and play, and [it felt] just like another game."
The Rangers led, 4-2, into the bottom of the third, when Gallo launched a first-pitch fastball into the upper deck in right field for a two-run home run. A fifth-inning double left him a triple shy of the cycle, but he struck out and walked in his next two plate appearances.
"I don't hit that many triples," Gallo said. "But I told Elvis as soon as I hit the ball, I'm going to run as hard as I can until somebody tags me out."