STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo walked into the Texas Rangers clubhouse after his major league debut carrying three baseballs.
One was from his first hit, which came in his first at-bat. There was also the home run hit into the upper deck his next time up, and the double that ricocheted off the top of the wall in right-center field.
“I definitely did not think this was going to happen the first game,” Gallo said. “I was just going to be happy to get on base the first game, so I definitely over-achieved my goals there.”
The top prospect in the Rangers organization had those three hits, set a franchise record for an MLB debut with four RBIs, walked and even got a standing ovation after striking out with the bases loaded in the Rangers’ 15-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
“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.
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.
With the bases loaded in the first, Gallo hit a hard shot that got past Gold Glove first baseman Adam LaRoche. It was scored a “bad-hop single” that drove home the first two runs off Jeff Samardzija (4-3).
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.
“This is why I get to do what I do and why I love what I do. All the hype, incredible evening for a young man,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Really rarely do they come up and meet all of the expectations in their first night.”
Gallo came oh so close to another homer in the fifth with a drive off the top of the wall. “The Natural” music played for home runs started briefly before being turned off.
Even Gallo though he had homered again when he heard the music. He was starting to jog around first base until he saw the ball getting picked up in the outfield.
Shin-Soo Choo and Corporan homered for the Rangers, who have won 11 of their last 13 games.
Corporan entered the game in the third for starting catcher Robinson Chirinos, who had a bruised right hand after getting hit by a pitch.
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.
Samardzija allowed nine runs and 12 hits, both career highs over 233 games — 110 starts — since his major league debut in 2008. And he was impressed by the Rangers’ young slugger.
“He looked pretty good to me,” Samardzija said with a smile. “From what I saw, he definitely likes the ball in. I threw three of them and he hit every single one of them.”
Beltre was put on the disabled list, effective Monday, after getting hurt on a slide into second base Sunday.
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, chosen 39th overall as a supplemental pick in the June 2012 amateur draft, was hitting .314 with nine homers and 31 RBIs in 34 games for Double-A Frisco.
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. Manager Robin 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.