ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Joey Gallo knew he hit the ball far enough. The young slugger’s only concern was if it would stay fair.
It did, and the Texas Rangers won with a game-ending three-run homer for the second night in a row.
Gallo’s 12th homer of the season ricocheted high off the foul pole down the right field line for a 5-2 victory over Oakland on Friday night.
“I was like, ‘OK, that’s gone.’ And then it started hooking really quick,” Gallo said. “That was the first one I ever hit off the foul pole, so that was pretty cool.”
For the Rangers, the ending was pretty much a repeat of Thursday night, when Mike Napoli’s three-run homer capped a four-run ninth inning to beat the San Diego Padres by the same 5-2 score.
“To win them in that kind of fashion … it’s momentum,” Gallo said. “In a million years, I didn’t think it would be the same three-run home run to win it.”
Texas matched a season high with its fourth consecutive victory.
Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor got the ninth started with consecutive singles. Napoli then hit a deep sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Odor was stopped at third when Carlos Gomez doubled into the right-center gap, but they all came home when Gallo pulled the full-count pitch off A’s closer Santiago Casilla (1-2).
“We were trying to strike him out,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Man on third, one out. He’s a good hitter, but he’s their biggest strikeout guy.”
Gallo does have a majors-high 54 strikeouts, but is also second in the AL with the 12 homers and leads the Rangers with 27 RBIs. He is playing regularly in place of veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has been on the disabled list all season with a calf issue.
Gomez led off the Texas fifth with a double, went to third on an errant pickoff throw, then tied the game at 1-1 on a squeeze bunt by Delino DeShields. Gomez made a great headfirst slide around the sweeping tag attempt by catcher Stephen Vogt while reaching out to touch the plate.
“There was a lot of energy really,” manager Jeff Banister said when asked about Gomez. “We’ve got a number of guys in that dugout that really do that. But yeah, (Gomez) set a nice tone for us.”
Pinch-hitter Mark Canha put Oakland up 2-1 in the seventh when he lined an RBI double over the outstretched glove of 6-foot-5 third baseman Gallo and into the left-field corner. Canha was hitting for Matt Joyce, whose homer in the fifth had put the A’s up 1-0.
GOOD WITHOUT A WIN
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner lowered his ERA to 2.43 by allowing only one run over six innings. But the Texas native is still without a win in six starts for the Rangers since signing with them during the offseason. Cashner, who has had a total of six runs of support, is the first Texas starter to allow three earned runs or less in each of his first six starts in a season without a victory since rookie Tommy Boggs’ seven in 1976.
Oakland’s Jesse Hahn pitched seven strong innings, limiting the Rangers to one run and four hits and left with the lead. … This is the fourth time in Rangers’ history they won consecutive games with walk-off homers. … Keone Kela (1-1), the fourth Rangers pitcher, went the last two innings.
NO K FOR KHRIS
While A’s LF Khris Davis was 0 for 4, he didn’t strike out for the first time in 22 games. That streak of 21 games in a row with a strikeout (33 total in that stretch) was the longest streak in team history by a non-pitcher.
Athletics: C Josh Phegley, who took a ball off his mask May 3, was reinstated from the 7-day concussion DL. … RHP Sean Manaea is scheduled to come off the DL on Monday to pitch for the A’s at Seattle. He’s been out since April 27 because of a strained left shoulder.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray is 6-0 with a 1.45 ERA in six career road starts in Texas. Gray has eight wins overall against the Rangers since the start of the 2014 season, the most by any pitcher against them in that span.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez is winless in four starts this season, but he is 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 50 career innings against Oakland.
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