ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo continues to hit spectacular home runs, but Nomar Mazara still leads the Rangers in RBIs.These two have a chance to be at the heart of the Rangers' lineup for many years to come, and Mazara more than held his own Wednesday night when both players went
ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo continues to hit spectacular home runs, but Nomar Mazara still leads the Rangers in RBIs.
These two have a chance to be at the heart of the Rangers' lineup for many years to come, and Mazara more than held his own Wednesday night when both players went deep in a 12-6 victory over the Tigers.
The Rangers hit four home runs while tying a season-high with 17 hits, and one of them was a big blast from Mazara. The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Rangers starter Cole Hamels, but Mazara tied it in the second by following a leadoff single from Adrian Beltre with a line drive off the right-field foul pole.
"You really just gotta give it to the hitters," Hamels said. "They really came out and got the runs. They answered when we needed [them] to. A lot of guys are really starting to get hot, and it's great to see."
The exit velocity on Mazara's home run was 108 miles per hour, and he finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBIs. He leads the team with 77 RBIs this season.
"It means a lot," Mazara said. "When you drive in somebody, that's how you win games. It has been important to me. I've been trying to focus more when I have men in scoring position, and I've been putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play, good things happen."
Since breaking an 0-for-26 slump, Mazara is now hitting .357 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in his last 18 games. He has a .418 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage during that stretch, and is 12-for-28 (.429) with runners in scoring position.
"We have seen this type of trend from Maz the last couple of years," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He kind of plateaus at a certain point, then gets hot again. Much better balance at the plate. It looks like he's seeing the ball well and hitting the baseball hard. He is hitting it as hard as anybody in our lineup when he puts the ball in play. It's been fun to watch."
Mazara's hot streak has paralleled Gallo, who hit his 35th home run of the season Wednesday night. He is hitting .277 with 14 home runs, 24 RBIs and an .819 slugging percentage in his past 24 games.
"I'm not surprised what he's doing right now," Mazara said of Gallo. "He's a strong man. I've seen it before. Don't be surprised if he's going to be a home run leader in the American League."
Mazara has a reasonable goal within his reach. He is on pace to finish with 104 RBIs, which would be a nice achievement for a second-year hitter.
"That would be awesome if I did that," Mazara said.
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.