Gallardo extends Rangers' quality start streak
Right-hander's seven shutout frames move mark to 11 straight games
ARLINGTON -- Yovani Gallardo hit spots with his sinker and had his slider on point all game in Monday's 4-1 win against the Dodgers, but his most important trait was intangible.
As he typically does, Gallardo commanded the game with a calm but intense demeanor. He was in control, and when he walked two batters to start the sixth inning, he worked out of it like it was nothing.
It resulted in his fifth consecutive quality start and a Rangers' record 11th consecutive quality start from the rotation.
"He was in a big spot in that inning where he needed to make some pitches, and he did," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "And that's the Yovani Gallardo that I'm used to seeing with what he did in the National League with Milwaukee. … He's as competitive as they come. He's got ice water in his veins when he's out there on the mound."
Gallardo (6-6) threw seven shutouts innings, allowing four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. In the sixth, he got Yasiel Puig to fly out before inducing an inning-ending double play. That was the only time he faced a real threat, using his sinker to keep the ball on the ground and his slider to keep hitters off-balance.
"I think he showed emotion one time tonight," Banister said. "That was on the walk. Other than that, he was in control."
In his past five starts, Gallardo has lowered his ERA by a full run from 4.26 to 3.16.
"I think I'm throwing the ball well right now," Gallardo said. "I think even my last game I had a really good curveball. Same way today, but I didn't throw many. But I had a good slider, and [the Dodgers aren't] an easy team to face with the guys they have in that lineup."
Gallardo's start keeps the fire burning for a red-hot Rangers rotation. In addition to breaking the Rangers' consecutive quality starts record set in 1978, the Texas rotation has one of baseball's best ERAs in June at 2.38.
Tuesday, the Rangers will throw Chi Chi Gonzalez, who has a 0.42 ERA in his first three Major League starts. The streak of quality starts is starting a friendly competition for the Rangers -- pitchers are actively rooting for each other, and no one wants to be the one to end the run.
"We plan on keeping [the streak] going," Gallardo said. "That's for sure."