Gallo Powers Rangers Over Royals

Joey Gallo’s power helped produce another Texas Rangers win. When he’ll return to the plate is in question.

Gallo hit a tie-breaking home run for the second straight game before leaving in the fifth inning due to injury as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Saturday.

Gallo was removed because of tightness in his left oblique while batting. He had an MRI and passed some strength tests after the game.

The Rangers have won 12 of 17 and improved to 19-9 at home.

Lance Lynn (7-4) allowed both runs. He yielded six hits and a hit batter, striking out seven for his fifth straight quality start.

The Royals have lost five of their last six games and have the worst road record in the majors at 8-22. Kansas City was 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Gallo broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, hitting a 1-0 pitch from Homer Bailey (4-6) over the home bullpen in right-center for his 17th of the season, good enough for a tie with four others for the American League lead. On Friday night, Gallo hit a grand slam in the sixth inning in a 6-2 win over the Royals.

Woodward said Gallo initially felt the pain earlier in the game when throwing. In the dugout before batting in the fifth inning, Gallo told Woodward it didn’t feel like a ”muscular thing . like a chiropractor popped him the wrong way.”

Woodward went up to the plate along with trainer Matt Lucero after Gallo’s first swing only to be assured he felt fine.

Bailey gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings for his fourth straight start without a victory. He allowed only a first-inning single to Nomar Mazara before Hunter Pence led off the fourth with an opposite-field ground single to right ahead of Gallo’s homer.

Martin Maldonado and Cam Gallagher, who replaced Maldonado behind the plate in the sixth inning, had RBI doubles. Maldonado was pulled as a precaution with right forearm tightness.

The 25-year-old Gallo went into Saturday’s game with the AL’s best ratio of at-bats to home runs (10.6) and OPS (1.048). He’s hitting .276 after batting .209 and .206 with 41 and 40 homers, respectively, during his two previous full major league seasons.