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49-63 - Gallo, Odor power Rangers to victory over O’s on Vladdy night in Arlington

Hall of Famer Vladdy Guerrero was honored with a 3-1 Rangers victory tonight

Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Mike Minor avenged one of his more perplexing outings of the season when he allowed six runs (five earned) runs to the Orioles in the last game before the All-Star break.

Tonight, Minor allowed just one run in seven innings while striking out six O’s and walking no one. The win puts the Rangers a game closer to sweeping the Orioles and erasing the memories of losing a series to the worst team in baseball last month.

Player of the Game: Joey Gallo is an incredibly difficult player to figure out, I hear you say. Wrong. It turns out, Joey Gallo was just a second half player all along.

Gallo was up in May for the Rangers back in 2015 but didn’t see much action after Adrian Beltre returned that season, seeing the plate on 21 times in the second half. In 2016, Gallo was way, way, way deep in the doghouse and only had 25 PAs TOTAL the entire season.

But in 2017, Gallo finally became a full time, everyday regular in the big leagues and though it took some adjusting, he finally broke out with a .229/.357/.572 slash line with 20 dingers in just 62 games in the second half. That had us seeing 50 dongs and and easy All-Star appearance dancing in our heads for this season.

Instead, Gallo came out this year and trudged along to a first half slash line and pretty much had half the fanbase ready to just give up on him. So far, in this year’s second half, Gallo is going off to the tune of a .244/.392/.707 slash with seven of his 29 dingers coming since the break.

As for tonight, Gallo hit a home run in his third consecutive game and that blast contributed two of the three Rangers runs in a 3-1 victory (the other run coming on a Rougned Odor solo homer because lol). For his career, Gallo’s OPS is now .110 points better in second half action.

This theory obviously has some sample size holes but if Joey Gallo is just a second half guy, it wouldn’t be the first nor the last quirk that drives people up the wall about his game but, in the big picture, it ultimately is the latest example for why he’s better than given credit by some.

Up Next: The Rangers will go for a rare four-game sweep tomorrow. Texas just announced like three minutes ago that RHP Drew Hutchinson has been signed and will make the start against RHP Yefry Ramirez for Baltimore. First pitch in the finale is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT.