Texas rookie impresses Samardzija in runaway
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Even Chicago White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija smiled about the impressive debut by top Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo.
Samardzija would probably rather forget his own performance.
Gallo hit an upper-deck homer, doubled off the top of the wall and set a Rangers franchise record for a major league debut with four RBIs as Texas beat the White Sox 15-2 on Tuesday night.
Samardzija gave up nine runs and 12 hits — both career highs — without getting an out in the sixth.
“He looked pretty good to me,” Samardzija said with a smile about the 21-year-old Gallo. “From what I saw, he definitely likes the ball in. I threw three of them and he hit every single one of them.”
Texas went ahead to stay in the first when Gallo came up with the bases loaded, and hit a hard shot that got past Gold Glove first baseman Adam LaRoche. It was scored a “bad-hop single” and drove home the first two runs.
When Gallo came up two innings later, he hit the first pitch into the upper deck in right field — an estimated 418 feet — for a 6-2 lead. In the fifth, he just missed another homer with the shot off the wall in right-center.
“He’s OK,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said jokingly. “He had a nice start. Just impressive. We saw him in spring training. For him to come in to his first game and do what he did, that’s a nice start for somebody’s career.”
Gallo made the jump from Double-A Frisco for what is supposed to be a short stint while four-time All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
“That easy? For real, it’s that easy? We lost one of the best players and we bring that guy from Double-A, and to perform the way he did was freaking awesome,” said Carlos Corporan, who had a career-high five RBIs after entering the game in the third when catcher Robinson Chirinos left with a bruised right hand.
Samardzija (4-3) struck out four with one walk, and all nine runs against him were earned.
“The ball was up, and they took advantage of balls that stayed on the plate in, and they were pretty aggressive all day,” said Samardzija, who threw 70 of 95 pitches for strikes. “I thought we had some success away, and every time we got the ball in it wasn’t in far enough. They’re a free-swinging team, and took advantage of it.”
Colby Lewis (5-3) struck out four with no walks in seven innings and the only runs he gave up were on Adam Eaton’s two-run homer in the third — also in the upper deck in right but not as far as Gallo’s.
Shin-Soo Choo and Corporan also homered for the Rangers, who have won 11 of their last 13 games.
The Rangers announced Monday that the 21-year-old Gallo would be called up to get some major league experience with Beltre out, instead of going to Triple-A Round Rock as planned this week. Gallo was chosen 39th overall as a supplemental pick in the June 2012 amateur draft.
After 40 homers combined in rookie ball and Low-A in 2013, Gallo set a Rangers minor league record with 42 last year between High-A Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He was the first player since White Sox prospect Ron Kittle in 1981-82 with consecutive 40-homer season in the minors.
White Sox: Chicago 1B Jose Abreu was held out of the lineup for the third straight game because of a swollen right index finger. Ventura said Abreu could probably play, but that “one swing could probably set him back for five more days.” Abreu could be back in the lineup Wednesday.
Rangers: Slugger Josh Hamilton was out with tightness in his left hamstring, a move he called precautionary. He got treatment Monday and Tuesday, and plans to reassess how he feels Wednesday. ... LHP Matt Harrison (spinal fusion surgery) and OF/1B Ryan Rua (right heel) start rehab assignments Wednesday with Round Rock.
White Sox: LHP Chris Sale makes his 10th start of the season for Chicago, his fifth on the road.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez is coming off his first loss, but looks to extend his club record streak of 16 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less.