ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers and slugger Joey Gallo both snapped unwanted streaks in a lopsided 6-1 defeat of their American League West rival Los Angeles Angels.
Gallo carried a 20-game home run and extra-base hit drought into Tuesday night's game, which was by far the longest of his big league career.
394 feet later, Gallo emphatically ended that drought.
Gallo pounced on the first pitch of his second at-bat against Angels starter José Quintana, driving it over the fence in right field at a blistering speed of 114.3 miles-per-hour. It was a two-out, two-run homer that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the third inning.
According to MLB's Sarah Langs, Gallo now has the third-most home runs of at least 114 mph in the Statcast era with 14.
While Gallo ended his home run drought, he continued a much more productive streak. A first-inning walk by Gallo extended his on-base streak this season to 23 games. Gallo has played in all but one of the Rangers 24 games.
But through the impressive on-base streak, more and more people were growing in concern about Gallo's power outage.
"You could see the relief," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "He's been grinding. He takes a lot of pride in being our three-hole hitter, our best hitter. I feel like he's done a really good job, even though he hasn't hit homers. He still has plate discipline. He still has that presence when he gets in that batter's box. So it was really nice to get him some results today."
Even so, it didn't mean any of Gallo's teammates didn't rib the Rangers slugger after trotting around the bases.
"[Isiah Kiner-Falefa] probably made the comment of the year," Woodward laughed. "He said, 'Now you know what it feels like when I hit a homer' with how excited he was."
As far as the Rangers' best hitter right now, Gallo's go-ahead homer was sandwiched in between two solo blasts by Nick Solak in the first and seventh innings, the first multi-homer game of his career. Solak also singled just prior to Gallo's two-run missile.
Solak is now tied for the American League lead with seven home runs on the season, and is just one back of a tie for the Major League lead. Solak is currently playing the best baseball in his young career, having only seven career home runs prior to 2021.
"He's hammering balls all over the field. Not just to center, but to left and to right," Woodward said. "When he's right, he's tough to get out. He can ride through some breaking balls, but he also hammers fastballs. It's fun to watch."
Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz kept the potent Angels lineup at bay, allowing just one run on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. John King, Joely Rodríguez, and Brett Martin combined for 3 2/3 shutout innings in relief.
For Foltynewicz, it was his first Major League win in 585 days.
"It's been a long time, man," Foltynewicz said. "I don't want to talk about it because I'll get emotional. It's cool. I mean, you go out there. You work your butt off and hit some road bumps along the way. Juts keep battling back. This new team, they gave me an opportunity, just trusting me to go out there an battle with these boys. It's fun."
The Rangers (10-14) and Angels (11-11) will square off in a rubber match on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field. Texas will send out rookie sinker-baller Dane Dunning (1-0, 3.06 ERA) to oppose Angels veteran Alex Cobb (1-1, 6.28 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.