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Red-hot Odor pours it on in rain-soaked win

August 19, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor delivered the decisive blow in Sunday's series finale against the Angels.Odor's three-run shot off reliever Noe Ramirez in the seventh inning helped give the Rangers a 4-2 win at Globe Life Park. Odor went deep for the 15th time this season on a

ARLINGTON -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor delivered the decisive blow in Sunday's series finale against the Angels.
Odor's three-run shot off reliever Noe Ramirez in the seventh inning helped give the Rangers a 4-2 win at Globe Life Park. Odor went deep for the 15th time this season on a 2-0 changeup from Ramirez.
The game was delayed by rain twice. There was an 18-minute delay before the sixth inning began, and a 56-minute delay with two outs in the seventh.
A hard rain shower came down during Odor's at-bat in the seventh, but the delay didn't come until one batter after his at-bat. Odor said the rain wasn't distracting to him.
"I wasn't really paying attention to the rain," Odor said. "I was just locking in. It's a little tough; the bat gets wet. But after that, it was good."

Odor has been on a tear since the All-Star break. He entered the day batting .351 and slugging .667 in his last 27 games. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, the home run and four RBIs against the Angels.
"It's another one of those situations that will add to what Rougie has been able to do this year to right the ship and move himself forward," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He's a guy that I believe, really, he longs for those type of situations. He loves to be in the batter's box when the game is kind of in the balance."
The home run saved a strong outing from right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who settled for a no-decision in his 300th career start. Gallardo struck out six and allowed two runs on six hits over six innings.

"I think he had probably as good a start as he's had," Banister said. "Got the [two] double play balls, had the strikeouts. The fastball up played well, but I think the breaking stuff down and out of the zone, he got some chases. … Probably as good of stuff as he's had for us in any outing so far this year."
Gallardo entered the day with a 10.65 run support average in his starts since June 23 -- the highest in the Majors during that span -- but the Rangers' offense couldn't generate much against Angels right-hander Jaime Barria, who pitched five innings. Odor scored Shin-Soo Choo on an RBI single in the first inning, but that's all Texas could get against Barria.
Odor's long ball in the seventh proved to be the difference. He now has 23 RBIs in August, which are the most in the Majors and the most by Odor in any month in his career.

It has been a turnaround at the plate over the past two months for Odor, who wasn't producing like the Rangers have seen in past seasons. The 24-year-old batted .203 and hit just one home run with 10 RBIs in May.
Since then, he's been named American League Player of the Week twice and has been the hottest hitter in the Rangers' lineup.
"The next part of it is to do what he's doing right now," Banister said. "Continue the process. Remember when it didn't go well one day, can you rebound the next. That's the difference between average players and great players, and right now, Rougie is trending himself in that direction. We never stopped believing in who we thought he could be, and who he is."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With one out in the sixth inning, Gallardo intentionally walked Shohei Ohtani to put runners on first and second with Jose Pujols coming to the plate. Pujols entered the day batting .432 (16-for-37) with three doubles and four home runs in his career against Gallardo.
Gallardo, however, got Pujols to fly out to left field on a 2-2 fastball. Andrelton Simmons followed with a lineout to Gallardo to end the inning and keep it a 2-1 deficit.
"We have history," Gallardo said of Pujols. "We know each other. I'd rather take that chance instead of a guy that I've faced twice before [Ohtani], and it worked out. Made some pretty good pitches to him and got a shallow fly ball out there."
SOUND SMART
Gallardo joined Fernando Valenzuela (424) and Esteban Loaiza (333) as the only Mexican-born pitchers to make 300 or more career starts.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Simmons lined out to Gallardo to end the sixth inning. The ball hit off Gallardo's palm, but he recovered and made a throw to first to get Simmons.

"As weird as it sounds, I was trying to catch it, but I knew it was going right under my jaw," Gallardo said. "I saw it play out as soon as he hit it, the direction it was going. It could have been a lot worse, I'll put it to you that way. It hit my hand, but everything is good."
UP NEXT
The Rangers will open a three-game series against the A's on Monday at 9:05 p.m. CT at the Coliseum. Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon (7-10, 5.19 ERA) will start for the Rangers. Colon was scratched from Sunday's start against the Angels with back stiffness. He allowed three runs on four hits over five innings in last Monday's win over the D-backs. Oakland will counter with right-hander Mike Fiers (8-6, 3.38).

*Wesley Dotson *is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.