In what was the hottest temperature ever recorded at first pitch at The Ballpark, the Rangers and Indians played a spicy ballgame where the two teams combined to score 17 runs and trade leads before eventually the Indians scored a number high enough that they handed Texas an extra innings loss in the second half opener.
Also, Willie Calhoun, in his first game as a big leaguer in 2018, reached base twice in like the first hour of the game which is pretty much an entire month’s worth of offense from Carlos Tocci.
In perhaps the most important item of this and all nights until otherwise noted, Shin-Soo Choo collected a hit to leadoff the game and now has a 52 game on base streak.
Player of the Game: Joey Gallo appears to be a second half kind of guy. After putting up a .900+ OPS in the second half last season, the expectations were sky high this year. Gallo went out and put up a modest first half that more reflected his first half from last season, however.
Tonight, Gallo kicked off his second half by homering off prized left-handed bullpen mercenary Brad Hand who was making his AL debut and then, with two outs in the ninth, after Robinson Chirinos had hit a solo shot to make it a 8-7 game on at-bat before him, Gallo unfurled one of the longest, girthiest dongeroos you’ll ever see 114.3 mph, 472-ft to tie the game at 8-8 all.
Gallo struck out with the bases loaded and a chance to win the game in the bottom of the tenth but, if tonight was a sign of things to come, we could be in for another big second half from Joseph Nicholas Gallo.
Up Next: Bartolo Colon tries to not die as he pitches for the Rangers in Arlington during a record heatwave. Carlos Carrasco will start for Cleveland with a first pitch set mercifully for 7:05 pm CT.