ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Joey Gallo wasn’t sure how far he’d hit his monster home run Sunday, but he knew he hit it good.
All 490 feet of it, according to Statcast. Gallo’s second inning solo home run —- his 38th of the season, combined with a solid effort from Miguel Gonzalez led the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Angels on Sunday.
The ball Gallo hit landed near the top of the grass hill in center field, a jaw-dropping home run at Angel Stadium. Gallo was more impressed he was able to fight back in the at-bat.
“It was two strikes. He’s nasty,” Gallo said of Garrett Richards. “He was nasty all game. Honestly, I was just trying to get something up and put the ball in play and hope for the best. Got the barrel to it and it went out.”
It was his 38th home run of the season.
“You need a cab ride to get to it,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “I don’t think he’s going to stop amazing us with the length of home runs. They’re far, they’re high, they’re impressive. He’s an incredible talent. Big-time power. It’s fun to see him when he gets the barrel to it and they fly like that.”
Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: “That ball was hit.”
The Angels dropped two games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card, a day after closing within one game of the Twins. The Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak.
Adrian Beltre ht a two-run double to center field in the first inning to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Gallo’s blast made it a 3-0 lead.
Gonzalez (8-11) didn’t allow a hit through four innings and earned his first win in a Rangers uniform. He did allow plenty of baserunners via five walks and one hit-by-pitch.
“I was a little wild, but we got it done,” Gonzalez said. “(Robinson) Chirinos called a really good game back there, and we got some really good defense.”
Mike Trout, batting leadoff for the second straight game, hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fifth to put the Angels within 3-1. Trout also hit an eighth-inning solo home run to center field against reliever Matt Bush.
Gonzalez allowed one run on two hits in five innings. The Rangers then turned it over the bullpen, which had been the sore spot this season, but it got the job done. Jake Diekman got five outs for his first save.
Garrett Richards (0-2) gave up three runs in five innings of work. He was making his fourth start of the season and was better as the game went on. He threw 74 pitches, the most he’s thrown since coming off the disabled list with a biceps injury that sidelined him most of the season. Richards retired the last 12 batters he faced and struck out the side in the fifth. He struck out seven and allowed two hits, one of which was the home run.
“I just overthrew the slider a little bit,” Richards said of the Gallo home run. “He swung threw a couple early on and I think I tried to make that last one a little bit too good. He caught it out in front, and good for him.”
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP, was in attendance for Sunday’s game. Westbrook grew up in Southern California and played at UCLA.
Six Angels pitchers combined to strike out 15 batters Sunday, which matched a season high.
BET ON BELTRE
Adrian Beltre had 2 RBI Sunday. Against the Angels this season, he has five home runs and 13 RBI in 10 games.
Rangers: OF Nomar Mazara (quadriceps) was back in the lineup Sunday after returning as a pinch hitter Saturday . Adrian Beltre (hamstring) has been the DH in the lineup for the fourth straight game.
Angels: INF Brandon Phillips (lower back tightness) is still day-to-day .. LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulder) is playing catch and being evaluated every day. A timetable has not been set for his return yet.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (12-11, 4.82 ERA) will make his team-leading 30th start of the season Tuesday in Seattle. Perez had his seven-game win streak snapped by the Mariners last week in an 8-1 loss Wednesday.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (2-5, 4.37) won his last start by pitching seven scoreless innings against Houston. It was his first win since April 22. Skaggs will start Tuesday against Cleveland.
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