Gallo’s bat, arm help Rangers edge D-backs 5-4 to end skid

Jul 27, 2021, 8:41 AM | Updated: 10:00 pm

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo hit his first home run since the break, a towering three-run shot to put Texas ahead, and also had two more assists from right field as the Rangers ended a 12-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Dane Dunning (4-7) allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two while earning only his second win in his last 12 starts.

Ian Kennedy, the veteran reliever who like Gallo could potentially be traded before Friday’s deadline, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 16th save in 17 opportunities — and first since July 9, the night before the Texas losing streak began. The D-backs had scored twice in the eighth, when they also left runners on first and third.

Gallo launched a 1-0 fastball off the batter’s eye beyond center field in the fourth inning off Taylor Widener (1-1), two batters after David Dahl’s ground-rule double tied the score 2-2.

Before his 25th homer of the season, Gallo had gone 2 for 32 with no RBIs and 17 strikeouts since participating in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby two weeks ago.

“Man, I’ve got to get this done, someway, somehow,” Gallo said of his mindset before hitting the homer. “I was able to get a pitch in the zone and drive it.”

Texas manager Chris Woodward stated the obvious, saying he hopes Gallo remains with the Rangers.

“I love the kid dearly,” Woodward said. “He’s obviously a huge part of what we do here.”

Widener survived trouble in the first three innings, with Texas going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving six on base before chasing him in the fourth. Widener gave up all five runs on five hits, five walks and a hit batter.

“I had to battle through those first three innings, and finally, they got me,” Widener said.

With first base open when Gallo came up tot bat in the fourth, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo chose to pitch to him instead of loading the bases to face Andy Ibanez, who was hitting .346 since the break.

“The lesser of two evils,” Lovullo said.

Gallo, a 2020 Gold Glove winner, threw out Kole Calhoun trying to stretch a single into a double leading off the game. Gallo began a fourth-inning play that caught Asdrubal Cabrera between second and third. Gallo has six outfield assists in his last 10 games, and has a career-high nine overall this season.

The second-longest skid in Rangers history began at home in the last two games against Oakland before the All-Star break, and continued through a 10-game road trip that ended Sunday.

The five-run fourth gave Texas a lead after a completed inning for the first time in 109 innings. In Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Houston, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on an Eli White homer, after 99 innings without leading at any point in a game, only to have the Astros’ Abraham Toro hit a two-run homer in the bottom of that frame.

The Diamondbacks (31-71), who have had the worst record in the majors since June 4, came in having won five of their last seven games.

FIRST THINGS

Calhoun had two hits, including an RBI double, while hitting leadoff for the first time this season. It was his first multihit game since April, having come off the 60-day injured list on July 10.

With Calhoun hitting only .212 going into the game, Lovullo hoped for a spark when he returned him to the leadoff spot where he has hit much of his career.

“It felt good,” Calhoun said. “It’s been tough lately, honestly. So to come out and have some decent at-bats feels good.”

SHORT HOPS

Rangers RHP Josh Sborz went on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to a son on Monday. OF Jason Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. … New Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Arizona DH Josh Reddick was scratched from the original starting lineup because of non-COVID-related illness.

UP NEXT

The two-game interleague set will end Wednesday with D-backs LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-6, 5.09 ERA) facing Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (5-7, 5.20). Bumgarner is 0-4 in his last six starts, 0-1 since returning from the injured list because of shoulder inflammation. Lyles has allowed the second-most homers in the majors (24).

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Gallo’s bat, arm help Rangers edge D-backs 5-4 to end skid