Gallo returns with HR in Rangers' shutout W

August 9th, 2020

had a rough three days in Oakland. He was 1-for-11 with eight strikeouts, his surgically-repaired right wrist started hurting on Tuesday night and it grew worse as the week progressed.

By the time the Rangers returned to Arlington, Gallo knew he needed a pain-relieving injection. Dr. Keith Meister gave him one on Friday, Gallo took the night off and then returned Saturday to provide the muscle needed to support the Rangers’ terrific pitching.

Gallo hit a two-run home run off Angels starter Patrick Sandoval, and Rangers pitchers recorded their second shutout of the season in a 2-0 victory Saturday at Globe Life Field. The Rangers have won two straight, their first winning streak of the season.

“It was affecting me for sure,” Gallo said. “I felt like I had to manipulate my swing a little bit, and it was kind of getting me off. I felt a lot better today and felt like I could get my normal swing off.”

The game was scoreless headed into the sixth, when Todd Frazier reached base with a two-out single off Sandoval. Gallo then hit an 0-1 fastball to the opposite field and put it into the Angels’ bullpen for a two-run home run.

“To hit a ball felt really good and to hit it on the barrel,” Gallo said. “I felt excited about that. I knew it was going to be extra bases. This is a big field, so I didn’t know if it was going to go out. I was sprinting, but when I saw it go out, I was excited because the way they were pitching and we weren’t having much success, I knew that was going to be a huge two runs.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon had left-handed setup reliever Hoby Milner ready to pitch. But he looked at the big scoreboard in right field, with all the neat graphics displayed there, and saw numbers that favored Sandoval against Gallo. He might have also had additional information at hand on the bench.

"The numbers were good,” Maddon said. “That scoreboard, it's pretty elaborate, and all the numbers appeared to be in order. He just made a low, middle pitch to Gallo that he didn't miss, but it was primarily based on handedness, and I thought he still had really good stuff."

Rangers manager Chris Woodward had a better night manipulating his pitching staff even though right-handers Jonathan Hernández and Nick Goody were unavailable. Hernández threw 25 pitches the night before, and Goody has been unavailable the past two days with lower-back inflammation.

Kolby Allard gave the Rangers five scoreless going on five days’ rest as opposed to 10 days off prior to that one. He predicted he would be sharper this time around, and that proved the case. Using an effective fastball and cutter, Allard threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out six.

All nine of Allard’s swings-and-misses came from his cutter or fastball. In only two of nine starts last season did Allard have more swings and misses off those two pitches than Saturday night. He had eight in his first start.

“What Kolby and our pitching staff did today was spectacular,” Woodward said. “That’s a pretty good lineup over there. Kolby, not surprisingly, did what he does. He attacked. He used all his pitches. He used that breaking ball, and it’s kind of the difference-maker at times, because it keeps them off of his cutter and fastball."

Rangers pitchers combined to strike out 10 batters, including Mike Trout three times. Allard got him twice, but the big one came in the eighth after left-hander Joely Rodríguez walked David Fletcher with one out.

Rodríguez fell behind 3-0 to Trout before coming in with three straight fastballs. The third one caught Trout looking on the inside corner for strike three. Right-hander Ian Gibaut then struck out Anthony Rendon.

Rafael Montero set down the side in order in the ninth for his second save, and Edinson Volquez, who pitched a scoreless sixth, earned his first Major League win since 2017.

“Joely got a huge punchout right there,” Woodward said. “He could have easily walked Trout there. He didn’t give in. He executed a pitch. And Gibaut comes in in a huge spot and punches out Rendon. And Montero had a perfect ninth. Overall, awesome job by our pitching staff and Joey with the big hit.”