'He's back!' 2 Gallo HRs ignite comeback

May 9th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Two home runs from slugger propelled the Rangers to a 9-8 comeback victory over the Mariners on Saturday night at Globe Life Field.

The Rangers battled back after trailing, 5-1, going into the bottom of the fourth inning and again after Seattle retook the lead late. A three-run eighth behind a solo homer from Adolis García and an RBI double from Jonah Heim secured the victory for Texas.

When Gallo started the season walking more and homering less, many outside of the organization were worried. But neither Gallo nor Rangers manager Chris Woodward were concerned with the lack of home runs. Both were more focused on the at-bat quality, which was the best it had ever been for Gallo. And they were right.

Gallo said that he felt like he was putting good swings on the ball all season and they just weren’t going over the wall. His second homer of the game, a shot to dead center at a Statcast-projected 433 feet, was on a changeup, which both Gallo and Woodward described as his “kryptonite.”

“I think that that stands out to me,” Woodward said. “For him to hit a changeup and stay through the ball the way he did, that's when I think Joey is really special. That means he's calm, he's a little bit slower at the beginning of the swing and not so jerky. That's why he gets a good wood on the ball. So, yeah, I think he's back. I don't think he ever left, but I think he's just being a hitter. He's gonna be a little bit streaky type, that's all.”

Gallo hit one home run in the second game of the season, but then went on a career-high 20-game homerless streak, snapping it in an April 27 win over the Angels. After hitting just two homers in his first 28 games of the season, he has four in his last six.

Gallo now has 126 career home runs, moving him past Pete Incaviglia into 16th on the club’s all-time list.

After being scratched from his last start with a finger injury, Kohei Arihara was able to get through just 3 2/3 innings in his return to the mound. He put the Rangers in an early hole, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks.

Texas was able to battle back each time the Mariners took a lead or came roaring to tie the game again. The Rangers now have nine come-from-behind victories on the season. Gallo said they’ve known what this team is since Spring Training and aren’t at all surprised by the fight they’ve shown during the short season.

“You can tell there is a different type of grit,” Gallo said. “Every single day was like, ‘Hey, we're gonna get better, we're gonna prove people wrong, we're gonna be the best that we can be.’ We felt like we’ve got the leaders that kind of support our young guys and want to succeed. We’ve got a great group of guys and everybody just wants to contribute to winning games.

"It's not a selfish group whatsoever, so I think that that helps you see how happy everybody is when we win games and how excited everybody is. It's just a great clubhouse to be in right now.”