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2-4 - Year of the Gallo: Rangers take finale, series against Oakland

Joey Gallo had a career high five RBIs as Texas beats Oakland 8-1 in series finale

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I had just finished mentioning on Twitter that Joey Gallo had only hit 197 singles in his professional career compared to 284 extra base hits when he came up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded in a 4-0 game.

I mentioned this because earlier in the game, Gallo had walloped his second home run of the season to run his MLB career hitting sample to 13 singles, 13 extra base hits. So, when factoring in 23 career walks and 85 career strikeouts, a simple base knock was probably the least likely outcome for Gallo in the 6th.

However, maybe Gallo really is starting to get it, after all, he did actually hit a two RBI single in the at-bat and to make things better, the single came on an 0-2 count. That's important because, A) Gallo strikes out a lot (duh) and B) Gallo doesn't just find a hole somewhere like a normal baseball player that often. When Gallo connects, more often than not, it's going somewhere fielders can't reach.

In fact, the hit for Gallo was his first in an 0-2 count of his big league (h/t to Evan Grant for that tidbit). So factoring in doing something he rarely does with something he'd never done before, you saw perhaps a moment of maturity from Gallo that turned a 4-0 game into a 6-0 blowout and gave Gallo a career high five RBI afternoon.

As for the pitching: Martin Perez was pretty good early on and seemed to have his changeup working which is great news. 'Teen eventually exited in the top of the sixth after running into trouble.

Perez was yanked after 5 1/3 innings and just 92 pitches after giving up nine baserunners including three walks. However, Perez also struck out six and didn't allow a run or terribly much hard contact. We'll call it something to build on and a measure of hope for that changeup becoming a weapon again in 2017.

Winning is way better than not winning, I tell you whut.

Player of the Game: As a guy I know named Adam Morris likes to say, the two-out, three-run home run is the most game-altering swing in baseball. Gallo swung it today with his two-out, three-run dong in the bottom of the second to get the Rangers started on their way to their first series win of 2017.

Up Next: The Rangers have another off day tomorrow before embarking on a nine game west coast road trip as they visit their division rivals out west for the first time this season. Tuesday's opener in Anaheim is expected to feature Cole Hamels against Angels' LHP Tyler Skaggs. First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:07 pm CT.