The Texas Rangers enjoyed Thursday’s come-from-behind win so much, they did it all over again on Friday with nearly the exact same script.
The endings, in fact, were exactly the same.
On Thursday, Mike Napoli capped a four-run ninth-inning rally with a three-run walk-off homer to defeat the Padres, 5-2.
On Friday, it was Joey Gallo’s turn as he capped a four-run ninth-inning rally with a three-run walk-off home run to defeat the A’s by the same 5-2 final.
Gallo’s blast was a no-doubter against A’s closer Santiago Casilla. The only question was whether the ball would stay fair or hook foul. That was quickly answered by the thunderous sound made when the ball collided with the foul pole.
Joey Gallos walk off HR… I love how the LF and CF immediately knew it was gone and headed for the dug out. RF gave it a few courtesy steps pic.twitter.com/HeuTC6ngnT
— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 13, 2017
Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor got the rally started with back-to-back singles to start the inning. Mike Napoli plated pinch-runner Pete Kozma with a sacrifice fly to tie the game and then Carlos Gomez doubled to put the winning run 90 feet away.
With first base open and one out, Oakland had the option of walking Gallo to set up a potential inning-ending double play. Instead, manager Bob Melvin gambled on getting Gallo out.
He lost that one. Badly.
The win was Texas’ fourth in a row. The Rangers are slowly climbing toward .500 at 17-20, and thrilling wins like this will do a lot to keep their confidence high.
As for Thursday’s comeback, that started with three consecutive one-out singles from Elvis Andrus, Odor and Lucroy, who actually pinch-hit for Gallo. Then Mike Napoli took Padres closer Brandon Maurer with a no-doubter to left field that set off the celebration.
The only notable difference is how Texas scored its first run in each game. On Thursday, Napoli also smacked an eighth-inning solo homer before hitting the winner. On Friday, Delino DeShields tied the game with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
Of course, all the Rangers care about are the wins. The circumstances are secondary, though in this case they were undeniably fascinating.
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