ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo's two home runs led a stirring comeback, and the Rangers came oh so close to what would have been one of their most dramatic wins of the season Friday night.But Gallo and his teammates missed out on a golden opportunity to finish on a triumphant note
ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo's two home runs led a stirring comeback, and the Rangers came oh so close to what would have been one of their most dramatic wins of the season Friday night.
But Gallo and his teammates missed out on a golden opportunity to finish on a triumphant note in the bottom of the 10th. Instead the Rangers ecstacy turned to agony in the 11th when the Indians pulled out a 9-8 victory at Globe Life Park.
"Tough that we lost," Gallo said. "Probably the best opportunity you can have to win the game there. We just didn't come through, myself included. I think it showed the grit in this team, though. The fact that we're going to fight against one of the best teams. Personally, it was a pretty good game for me, but I did want to win it there in my last at-bat."
The Rangers used five relievers to get to the 11th and -- going with a six-man bullpen -- were left with long reliever Matt Moore. He gave up a leadoff double to Jose Ramirez and an RBI single to Edwin Encarnacion that brought home the go-ahead run.
"Obviously, six [relievers] in a game like that becomes challenging, but Matt Moore's a Major League pitcher," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Obviously gave up the one run, however, I thought he threw some good pitches that inning to get himself out of it."
The Rangers trailed 7-4 going into the bottom of the seventh and 8-6 in the ninth. But Gallo put on a tremendous late-inning power display and helped send the game into extra innings.
Gallo welcomed Indians left-hander Brad Hand into the American League with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Gallo was the first hitter Hand faced after being acquired from the Padres on Thursday.
That made it a one-run game. Yandy Diaz's triple in the top of the ninth gave the Indians an 8-6 lead, but Cleveland closer Cody Allen gave up back-to-back home runs to Robinson Chirinos and Gallo with two out in the home half.
They came on back-to-back pitches and both were crushed. Chirinos hit a 1-0 fastball deep into the left-field seats that had a projected distance of 452 feet according to Statcast™.
Gallo then hit a first-pitch fastball into the upper deck in right-center with a projected distance of 472 feet. It was the longest by the Rangers this year and the second longest for Gallo in his career. He had a 490-foot home run in Anaheim last year. This was Gallo's sixth multi-homer game of his career and a nice way to start the second half after the All-Star break.
"The second half, I just want to relax and play the game," Gallo said. "That's what I did those at-bats, try to make them throw a strike, get a pitch in the zone and do what I can do, because I know that I'm pretty special if I can put the bat on the ball more."
The Rangers missed a chance to win it in the 10th after consecutive singles by Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor loaded the bases with no outs against reliever Zach McAllister.
Ronald Guzman smacked a hard grounder to third and Ramirez made a nice play to his left, throwing home for the force. McAllister then struck out Chirinos and Gallo to end the inning.
"Just wanted to keep swinging the way I was swinging," Gallo said. "I just missed a couple pitches that at-bat, but I haven't faced that guy before, so I was kind of going up a little blind, and he made his pitches against all of us. I wasn't trying to hit a home run or anything, I just wanted to put a bat on the ball, and I didn't, but that was my thought process. Two outs, pray for the best. You can't really hit a sac fly or anything."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rangers scored two in the second but a baserunning mix up cost them a bigger inning. The Rangers, trailing 3-1, had the bases loaded with no outs when Shin-Soo Choo grounded a single into right field. Chirinos scored from third and third base coach Tony Beasley was waving in Gallo, too. But Gallo stopped at third while Delino DeShields, running from first, did not. He rounded second with the intention of going to third but stopped and was easily tagged out. Willie Calhoun's single drove home Gallo, but Trevor Bauer struck out the next two hitters.
"You go back and look at it," Banister said. "The base-running play situation, ball hit to right field there, I think when [Gallo] looked up at Tony, thought Tony was stopping him at that point, and it was hard to re-crank in that situation, at that time."
CHOO EXTENDS STREAK
Choo had a pair of singles to extend his on-base streak to 52 straight games. That's the longest in the Major Leagues since Kevin Millar reached in 52 straight for the Orioles in 2007. It's the longest single-season streak in Rangers history. Will Clark had a 59-game streak at the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996.
DeShields beat out a bunt in the second inning by racing from home to first in 3.55 seconds. That's the third fastest single, according to Statcast™, in the Majors this season. Cory Spangenberg, a left-handed hitter had one at 3.44 second on July 8 and DeShields had one at 3.50 seconds on June 12. DeShields has the two fastest singles by a right-handed hitter this season and eight of the top 14. His 10 bunt hits also lead the Major Leagues. The hit snapped an 0-for-28 skid for DeShields.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Choo started in right field for the first time since June 27 and made a terrific catch in the fourth at the wall to take extra bases away from Indians designated hitter Diaz.
HE SAID IT
"Yeah that was crazy; it was honestly probably the longest game I've been a part of, but it's baseball, it happens. It was a good game, though." -- Rangers designated hitter Willie Calhoun, who was called up on Friday
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Odor was called out trying to steal second after a leadoff single in the fifth inning. The Rangers challenged the call, and it was overturned by replay. Odor was safe and ended up scoring on singles by Guzman and Chirinos.
Bartolo Colon makes his 18th start for the Rangers on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. CT against Carlos Carrasco and the Indians. Colon, who is from the Dominican Republic, is going for his 246th win, which would surpass Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for most victories by a pitcher from Latin America. He is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his last two starts and is 7-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 14 career starts against the Indians. His career began with the Indians in 1997.
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.