ARLINGTON -- One fact that has proved true for the Rangers is that when Yovani Gallardo pitches, the team scores runs: Texas averaged 8.4 runs per game in Gallardo's past seven starts entering Thursday.
That average went up Thursday night at Globe Life Park, when the Rangers struck for 10 runs during the first two innings, and wound up scoring in every inning they batted but the fifth to seal a 17-8 win over the Orioles in the series opener.
"[Texas] scored a lot of runs," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's tough to win. You know it's a hitter-friendly place, and they've got good hitters."
Rougned Odor walked four times in the first four innings and five times in the game to tie a club record. He also homered to finish the night 1-1 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Odor joins Hank Aaron, Edgar Martinez and Mark McGwire as the only four players to walk five times in a game and hit a home run. He is the first one in Major League history to walk five times, none intentionally, and homer.
Baltimore's first two hitters of the game singled, and two groundouts later, the Orioles had a 1-0 lead. That was the highlight of the night for Baltimore, as Jurickson Profar hit a three-run home run in the home half of the first inning to put Texas ahead for good.
The Rangers brought out the big fireworks in the second inning, striking for four doubles, two singles and two walks, and seven of their eight baserunners scored. That chased O's starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings and retired just five of the 15 batters he faced. Cashner fell to 3-10 on the season, and raised his ERA to 5.05.
Gallardo, meanwhile, cruised through 5 1/3 frames while pitching with a comfortable lead. He allowed a two-run homer in the fifth and sixth innings but wound up with a win despite five earned runs on nine hits and two walks. Gallardo, who struck out four, improved to 6-1 in eight starts, with a 6.51 ERA.
"[Gallardo] knows how to win baseball games," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He knows how to pitch. He knows how to keep his team in a game. He knows how to pitch with a lead. That's why he's been so successful as a Major League pitcher. Even giving up some of the runs, this is a guy that is going to pitch us into the fifth or sixth inning."
Eddie Butler, who joined the Rangers as part of the Cole Hamels trade, relieved Gallardo in the sixth inning and finished the game to earn his first career save.
"I thought Butler did a great job. We only had to use two pitchers tonight, so great job by them," Banister added. "The biggest story tonight is our offense that allowed that to happen."
Profar led the Rangers with four RBIs, all of which came in the first two innings. All nine Texas starters had at least one hit, and seven of them enjoyed multi-hit games. Elvis Andrus had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest current streak in baseball and the longest on the Rangers this season.
The 17 runs scored and the 18 hits in the game are also Texas season highs.
Odor is the 14th player in Major League history to have three runs and three RBIs in a game despite going 1-for-1 at the plate. Of the 14 players, Odor is the only one to walk five times in a game. He is also just the third player in Major League history to have five walks and three RBIs in a game, joining Hank Aaron (1972) and Gene Hermanski (1949).
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Orioles mounted a small rally in the sixth, scoring two runs and then moving runners to second and third base when Mark Trumbo came to the plate and lined a pitch sharply to Joey Gallo in right field.
The Rangers' right fielder sprinted toward the line and made a diving snag to end the inning and Baltimore's threat. Gallo had to cover 48 feet in 3.2 seconds to make the catch, and had just a 10 percent probability of doing so according to Statcast™.
Gallo, playing in just his seventh game in right field, was a bit more confident in his ability.
"Honestly, I didn't think I was [even] going to have to dive, but it just kept sinking. I haven't played that much right field. So the angles, the way it's coming off the bat, is a little different for me."
The Rangers and Orioles continue their four-game series Friday night in Arlington with a 7:05 p.m. CT first pitch. Ariel Jurado (1-1, 4.22 ERA) will make his third start of the season for Texas, and his third Major League appearance. He will be opposed by Baltimore's David Hess (2-5, 5.94). Jurado is in his fifth season of professional baseball after being signed by Texas as an undrafted free agent out of Panama. He is the seventh player from Panama to play for the Rangers.