Rangers and ‘another planet’ Joey Gallo face Mariners

MLB Baseball

In the past three days, Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward has compared Joey Gallo to both an alien and baseball’s home-run king.

“He’s on another planet right now,” Woodward said after Gallo homered twice in a 5-4 victory at Oakland on Tuesday. “He’s putting good swings on good pitches, and they’re not coming back.”

And Thursday afternoon, after Gallo went deep for the fifth consecutive game and reached base four times in an 8-3 victory against the A’s, Woodward had even

more praise.

“It reminds me of Barry Bonds,” Woodward said. “That’s a huge name to throw out there, but you’re seeing a guy this hot, you don’t even know what to say. You

don’t even know what to think.”

The Gallo road show will make its way to Seattle for a three-game series beginning Friday night at T-Mobile Park.

Since the beginning of June, Gallo is batting .291 with 11 home runs, compared with .216 with nine homers over the first two months of the season.

“I’ve always been somewhat streaky,” Gallo said. “Right now, it’s just nothing can go wrong for me, and I’m not saying that in an arrogant way or a cocky way. It’s just almost surprising. But for me, I just stayed the course. I knew at some point, things would break out and would happen for me.”

The Rangers have won five of their past six games and are scheduled to send right-hander Kyle Gibson (6-0, 2.00 ERA) to the mound Friday. Gibson is 4-4

with a 3.95 ERA in 12 career starts against Seattle.

The Mariners, who have won 12 of their past 16 games, will counter with rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert (2-2, 4.25), who will face the Rangers for the

first time.

Gilbert, Seattle’s top pitching prospect, figures to have some opening-day starts in his future. He’ll get a taste of that Friday in what the team is billing

as re-Opening Night. The Mariners have been limited to fewer than 13,000 fans per game this season per Washington state coronavirus restrictions, but

those have been lifted and all seats will be available.

“Heck of a road trip against two really tough opponents,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team took four of six games from the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays entering the series against the Rangers. “You find out a lot about your guys when you are playing on the road. And now, we’ve got fans in the stands again, and that makes it a little more challenging.

“The home team is feeding off the adrenaline that the fans will give them. … I’m looking forward to coming home for a big homestand.”

The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 7-2 Thursday afternoon in Buffalo, with Jake Fraley and Shed Long Jr. hitting homers.

For Seattle, it seems as if every victory brings another hero.

“That’s the beauty about baseball,” Fraley said. “For us, it’s just taking it day by day. What’s the next game? What’s the next series? We are just solely focusing on that and not getting too ahead of ourselves and not getting stuck in the past.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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