Thu, 23 Sep 2021

'Comfortable' Joey Gallo, Rangers face Diamondbacks

Field Level Media
28 Jul 2021, 21:40 GMT+10

All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo continues to insist that he wants to remain with the Texas Rangers despite the high volume of speculation as Friday's trading deadline approaches.

Gallo, 27, said he can't see himself in a different uniform. He again seeks to be a difference-maker for the Rangers when they conclude a two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Arlington, Texas.

Gallo broke out of a slump with a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 victory over Arizona as Texas halted a 12-game losing streak. He also threw out two Arizona runners on the bases.

Even though the Rangers (36-65) own the third-worst record in the majors, Gallo said he doesn't want to leave the organization.

"It's hard to envision myself being something else; it's almost scary," Gallo said before Tuesday's game. "I like being a Texas Ranger. I'm just comfortable here. I like being here. And I really freaking care about the fans. I want to win here for the fans.

"I don't want to be on another team and then four or five years down the road, see them winning and I'm like, 'Damn, I wish I was there to celebrate that with them' because we worked so hard to get to this point. I don't know. I care about Texas. I care about the Rangers and the organization."

Gallo isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season, so he said he doesn't comprehend why his future needs to be an issue in July of 2021.

"I don't understand the whole 'I have to be traded, I have to be extended' thing," Gallo said. "I have a whole 'nother year-and-a-half on my contract. ... We can talk about a contract for another year. I don't really understand.

"I get there's a certain pressure and time that people are trying to deal with, but I'm still under contract here for a year-and-a-half."

Gallo was 2-for-30 with 16 strikeouts since the All-Star break before going 1-for-4 and hitting his 25th homer of the season on Tuesday.

His play helped send Arizona to its second straight loss after the club had won five of six games. The Diamondbacks possess the worst record (31-71) in the majors.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo put right fielder Kole Calhoun in the leadoff spot Tuesday for the first time this season, and he went 2-for-4 with an RBI. The former leadoff hitter for the Los Angeles Angels raised his average 13 points to .225.

"It felt good," Calhoun said afterward. "It's been tough lately, honestly. So to come out and have some decent at-bats feels good."

The Diamondbacks will send left-hander Madison Bumgarner (4-6, 5.09 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday.

Bumgarner, who will turn 32 on Sunday, is 0-4 over his past six starts since most recently winning on May 11. He missed six weeks during that stretch due to a shoulder injury.

Bumgarner received a no-decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates last Wednesday in his most recent outing. He gave up three runs (one earned) and seven hits over five innings in his team's 6-4 victory.

Bumgarner is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in two career starts against the Rangers.

Texas will counter Wednesday with right-hander Jordan Lyles (5-7, 5.20), who has lost two straight starts. The 30-year-old has given up seven homers in 11 innings during the stretch -- he has allowed 24 for the season -- and has surrendered 10 runs and 13 hits.

Lyles is 3-8 with a 6.49 ERA in 23 career appearances (12 starts) against the Diamondbacks.

--Field Level Media

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