ARLINGTON -- General manager Jon Daniels said prior to Monday's series opener with the Yankees that the Rangers need to see improvement from some of their young players over the rest of the season. He did not mention specific names, but Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman have to
ARLINGTON -- General manager Jon Daniels said prior to Monday's series opener with the Yankees that the Rangers need to see improvement from some of their young players over the rest of the season. He did not mention specific names, but Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman have to be on that list.
All three were hitting under .200 going into Monday's game, but all three gave a reminder of what they are capable of with three monster home runs in the Rangers' 10-5 loss at Globe Life Field.
Each home run was hit harder and farther than the previous one, and there was more significance than just the tape measure. Odor's was especially noteworthy because it was his first of the season.
"Listen, any time these guys are swinging the bat well, making solid contact, they have opportunities to hit the ball out of the park," manager Jeff Banister said. "I love how these guys competed in the batter's box tonight, continued to compete all the way through the end."
The Rangers' three home runs in this game came after they'd hit just one in their previous four. They hit four in all over their just-completed nine-game road trip.
Gallo hit the first one out in the second inning off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Texas trailed, 3-0, when Gallo jumped on a 2-0 split-finger and sent it into the upper deck for a solo home run. It was his 14th of the season, but only the second in his last 13 games. It had an exit velocity of 103.4 mph and a Statcast™-projected distance of 422 feet.
Gallo entered the game with 61 career home runs in 758 at-bats. That was an average of one home run every 12.43 at-bats, the fourth-best ratio all-time among players with at least 750 at-bats. The top three were Mark McGwire (10.61), Babe Ruth (11.76) and Aaron Judge (11.78).
Odor came up with two on and one out in the fourth with the Rangers trailing, 4-1, against Tanaka. Again it was a split-finger pitch that Odor crushed into the right-field seats for a three-run home run to tie the score.
The home run, which had a 105.7-mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 429 feet, according to Statcast™, broke a 31-game drought for Odor -- his last 11 of 2017 and first 20 of this season -- the second longest of his career. His last home run was on Sept. 20, 2017, off Andrew Albers of the Mariners. Odor also missed 27 games earlier this season with a strained left hamstring.
"I've been feeling pretty good at the plate," Odor said. "I was just swinging at bad pitches. Right now I'm just trying to see my pitch, get my pitch, and I felt really good today at the plate. I'm trying to help my team to win. That's the only thing I can do, and I'm trying."
The Rangers couldn't keep it tied and were trailing, 8-4, when Guzman faced reliever Chad Green leading off the seventh. Guzman had just two home runs in his first 92 Major League at-bats, but he still has some power.
Guzman jumped on a 1-0 fastball clocked at 96 mph and blasted it into the upper deck for his third home run. This one had an exit velocity of 111.1 mph and an estimated distance of 443 feet.
"That one was pretty good," Guzman said. "That is one of the farthest I have hit in my life. I am just trying to find the rhythm and get a good pitch to hit."
The Rangers have 15 home runs with an exit velocity of 110 mph or greater this season, the second most in the Majors. The team with the most (21) is the team that beat them on Monday.
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.