ARLINGTON -- Rougned Odor recalled the first time he faced former teammate Derek Holland. He said that during his first at-bat against the lefty, when the Rangers played in Chicago earlier this year, he had to avoid looking Holland in the face because he'd end up laughing.Odor certainly got the
ARLINGTON -- Rougned Odor recalled the first time he faced former teammate Derek Holland. He said that during his first at-bat against the lefty, when the Rangers played in Chicago earlier this year, he had to avoid looking Holland in the face because he'd end up laughing.
Odor certainly got the last laugh Saturday. He hit two homers in the Rangers' 17-7 win, but his first one shifted the momentum of the game. The White Sox jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, and Odor's three-run shot in the third inning completed the comeback from the largest deficit the Rangers have had to erase this season.
"We've been playing really good baseball as a team and that's how we need to keep playing," Odor said. "That's how we want to keep playing to win the games. I feel really happy with how we're playing right now, and I hope we keep playing like that."
If Odor's first homer turned the tide, his second one opened the floodgates. By then, the White Sox had already lifted Holland for Dylan Covey. But Odor turned on a fastball in the fourth inning and launched it into the second deck in right field for a projected distance of 466 feet, according to Statcast™. It's the farthest Odor has hit a homer since Statcast™ was invented, and at 110.7 mph, it's tied for his hardest-hit ever.
He, along with Mike Napoli, were the gears that drove a record-setting night for the Rangers' offense. Napoli had five RBIs as well, the sixth time in franchise history multiple players have recorded at least five RBIs in a game. He homered and had a two-run double to help Texas erase that early deficit.
"Every time he hits a homer, I hit a homer," Odor said. "I hit a homer, he hits a homer. He's my roommate, he's next to me here [in the clubhouse], I'm always with him. We do the same thing."
Saturday marked the fifth time this year Odor has gone deep multiple times in a game, which leads all players in the American League. He's also batting .223, the highest his average has been since April 14.
It's a good sign for the young second baseman, who will be vital down the stretch, if the Rangers are to keep pace in the American League Wild Card race.
"Very encouraging for [Odor] and this offense," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We need for him to go and be a big part of this offense. He's a power guy, RBI guy, hit the ball all over the ballpark, get on base, use his speed and score runs for us."
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.