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Odor's big day backs Gallardo's best start

Second baseman homers, knocks in three runs; Gallardo hurls six scoreless
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo turned in his best start of the season and slowed down what had been a surging Indians lineup in Sunday's series finale at Globe Life Park.

Gallardo allowed a season-low three hits in six scoreless innings, and Rougned Odor backed him with all the support he would need in the Rangers' 5-0 win. It is the first time Gallardo has pitched six or more scoreless innings in a game since Aug. 22, 2015, against the Tigers.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo turned in his best start of the season and slowed down what had been a surging Indians lineup in Sunday's series finale at Globe Life Park.

Gallardo allowed a season-low three hits in six scoreless innings, and Rougned Odor backed him with all the support he would need in the Rangers' 5-0 win. It is the first time Gallardo has pitched six or more scoreless innings in a game since Aug. 22, 2015, against the Tigers.

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His outing was a turnaround from his last start against the Red Sox on July 10, when he allowed a season-high six runs on seven hits in a loss. Gallardo, however, found a way to quiet a Cleveland lineup that scored 25 runs on 38 hits through the first two games of the series.

"I felt good, with it being hot and warm," Gallardo said. "I was able to command both sides of the plate. Fastball was there whenever I needed it to [be]. Threw some pretty good changeups. And then the curveball came along as the game went on."

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Gallardo's curveball was the sharpest he's seen from him all season.

"At one point in the game he started throwing the curveball, probably the best curveball we have seen this year," Banister said. "He did a great job of staying out of their hot zones and getting soft outs. I thought he did a great job today."

Video: CLE@TEX: Gallardo tosses 6 scoreless frames in win

Gallardo worked with a quick pace in 100-plus degree heat. He forced two double plays and needed just 72 pitches to get through six.

"I think everything was working today," Gallardo said. "Attacking the zone, being aggressive. Getting some early outs, and obviously there were some big plays made behind me on the defensive side."

Texas held Cleveland to just five hits on the day, and it left five men on base against Gallardo.

"He just kind of mixed and matched a little bit," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He'd take something off -- got us to take the sting out of our bats. We had some rollovers when we had guys in scoring position. He had one strikeout and four walks, but had a real low pitch count. It was pitching to contact and staying off the barrel. That's good pitching."

Offensively, Odor had the most productive day at the plate for Texas, going 3-for-3 with one home run and three RBIs. Odor scored Delino DeShields on a single in the third inning, and he scored DeShields again on a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Odor provided additional insurance when he homered off Indians reliever Oliver Perez in the eighth. He now has hits in nine of his last 10 games, and he's batting .421 during that stretch.

Video: CLE@TEX: Odor on the win, gets shower from teammates

"I've been feeling better at the plate," Odor said. "I've just been working hard in practice, just getting focused a lot. I think that's why I'm feeling better in the game."

With the win, the Rangers avoided being swept in a series for the sixth time this season. Texas is now 4-12 in the month of July.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
There are Major League scouts in Arlington looking at Rangers reliever Jake Diekman as far as trade possibilities, and he made it interesting in the eighth inning trying to protect a two-run lead. The Indians were able to load the bases with two outs with Yandy Diaz at the plate. Diekman got ahead 0-2, missed with three pitches and then got Diaz to chase a 3-2 slider down and in. The ball got away from catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but he was able to recover and throw Diaz out to end the inning.

Video: CLE@TEX: Diekman fans Diaz with the bases loaded

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gallo nabs Kipnis: After drawing a one-out walk in the second inning, Kipnis sprinted from first to third on a single to right by Gomes. Gallo gloved the ball and uncorked a 100.4-mph throw to third baseman Jurickson Profar, who applied the tag on Kipnis just in time for a key out. Per Statcast™, Gallo's throw was the third-hardest outfield assist tracked this season. Gallardo followed with a groundout against Tyler Naquin to escape the inning unscathed.

Video: CLE@TEX: Gallo throws 100.4 mph for outfield assist

Rua homers in Gallo's place: With two outs in the eighth inning, Ryan Rua launched a two-run home run over the left-field wall to make it a five-run lead for the Rangers. Rua is batting .281 with four home runs and seven RBIs since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 26. Rua replaced Gallo in right field in the eighth. Gallo left the game after suffering a sprained left ankle on a groundout in the sixth.

Video: CLE@TEX: Rua hits a 2-run homer that just clears wall

HE SAID IT
"That was a huge factor for us today. This is a guy we know is an impact for us offensively. We need for him to be on base, Delino is going to be fine. It was his speed that created for us early and allowed us to get on the board early. We manufactured runs by getting on base, stealing a base, moving a runner over and then going ahead and driving a run in." -- Banister, on DeShields, who had two walks, two stolen bases and two runs scored

UP NEXT
The Rangers will open a four-game series against the A's at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday at Globe Life Park. Left-hander Cole Hamels (5-8, 4.36 ERA) will make his first start since July 13, when he threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out three in a win over the Orioles. Hamels is 3-4 with a 3.96 ERA in nine career starts against the A's. Oakland will counter with lefty Brett Anderson (1-2, 6.08).

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

Texas Rangers, Yovani Gallardo, Rougned Odor