ARLINGTON, Texas — Joey Gallo hit another towering home run, this one capping an impressive at-bat for the young Texas Rangers slugger after he struck out on three pitches his first time up against Justin Verlander.
Gallo fought back from an 0-2 count in the fourth inning, laying off the high 0-2 fastball this time, and on the eighth pitch hit a drive that landed in the second deck of seats in right-centre above the Texas bullpen and was estimated at 459 feet.
Mike Napoli followed with a home run of his own, and the Rangers went on to a 10-4 victory Tuesday night that ended Verlander's three-game winning streak.
"In my first at-bat, I figured he was going to do that and I just tried to beat him to it and he threw it a lot higher than I could get the bat to," Gallo said. "So, the second at-bat, it was a different approach and I was going to not swing at it and I was going to make him come in the zone and not try to chase it."
Gallo, a 23-year-old slugger in his first full major league season, has an AL-high nine homers in 13 games this month and 34 overall — the most by a Texas player since 2012 when Josh Hamilton had 43 and Adrian Beltre 36.
"He controlled the at-bat. That's the maturity that we've seen with Joey through the course of the second half and prior to the All-Star break," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The only other Rangers player with as many homers in a season by age 23 was Juan Gonzalez, who did it twice — 43 homers in 1992 when he was 22, and 46 more the following season.
"I threw a pitch to a guy who runs into stuff," Verlander said. "That's what he does. Not taking anything away from him. He's got ridiculous pop."
Robinson Chirinos also went deep off Verlander (8-8), who struck out eight without any walks while allowing five runs in six innings. Tigers starters have given up 19 homers and have a 7.94 ERA over the last 11 games.
A.J. Griffin (6-3) allowed one run and struck out four in five innings. The right-hander had gone 1-3 with a 10.88 ERA in his first five career starts against the Tigers.
"You just keep this team in the game and good things happen," Griffin said. "It was fun to go out there and have it all come together like that."
Detroit took its only lead when Jose Iglesias hit an RBI double to make it 1-0 in the second. Iglesias also had the second of the Tigers' consecutive RBI grounders in the seventh. ... Victor Martinez led off the ninth with his ninth homer.
STEALING A RUN
Rougned Odor manufactured a run for Texas in the seventh. He drew a walk, went to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher John Hicks, and then scored on what would have been a steal of home before a balk was called on Daniel Stumpf. The reliever never came set or stepped off the rubber before frantically throwing home.
"I saw him jockeying two pitches before that," Stumpf said. "I got lazy and came up too slow. Looked home and saw Hicks red-eyed and knew he was moving."
UNUSUAL PLAY AT FIRST
When Odor hit a grounder through the right side of the infield in the third, he was thrown out at first base on a 5-1 putout. Detroit was drastically shifted against the pull-hitting Odour, and third baseman Nicholas Castellanos was positioned in short right field when he fielded the ball and threw to Verlander covering the bag.
Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera was back in the lineup after missing two games with back stiffness.
Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez missed his second straight game because he wasn't feeling well.
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 6.69 ERA) has lost his last two starts, giving up 13 runs and 18 hits in nine innings. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 7.84 ERA in seven career appearances against Texas.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (7-1, 3.31) has allowed only an unearned run over 16 innings while winning both his starts in August.
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