D-backs drop series opener against Rangers, Widener struggles early
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo hit his first home run since the break, a towering three-run shot to put Texas ahead, and also had two assists from right field as the Rangers ended a 12-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Dane Dunning (4-7) allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two while earning only his second win in his last 12 starts.
Ian Kennedy, who like Gallo could potentially be traded before Friday’s deadline, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 16th save in 17 opportunities — and first since July 9. The D-backs had scored twice in the eighth, when they also left runners on first and third.
Gallo launched a 1-0 fastball off the batter’s eye beyond center field in the fourth inning off Taylor Widener (1-1), two batters after David Dahl’s ground-rule double tied the score 2-2. Before his 25th homer of the season, Gallo had gone 2 for 32 with no RBIs and 18 strikeouts since participating in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby two weeks ago.
Widener survived trouble in the first three innings, with Texas going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving six on base before chasing him in the fourth. Widener gave up all five runs on five hits, five walks and a hit batter.
Gallo, a 2020 Gold Glove winner, threw out Kole Calhoun trying to stretch a single into a double leading off the game. Gallo began a fourth-inning play that caught Asdrubal Cabrera between second and third.
The Texas losing streak began July 10, two games before the All-Star break and continued through a 10-game road trip that ended Sunday. It tied for the second longest skid in Rangers history.
The five-run fourth gave Texas a lead after a completed inning for the first time in 109 innings. In Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Houston, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on an Eli White homer, after 99 innings without leading at any point in a game, only to have the Astros’ Abraham Toro hit a two-run homer in the bottom of that frame.
Calhoun had two hits, including an RBI double, while hitting leadoff for the first time this season. It was his first multi-hit game since April, having come off the 60-day injured list on July 10.
The Diamondbacks (31-71), who have had the worst record in the majors since June 4, came in having won five of their last seven games.
Arizona DH Josh Reddick was scratched from the original starting lineup because of non-COVID-related illness. … CF Ketel Marte (hamstring) was scheduled to play in an Arizona Complex League game on Monday after beginning his rehab assignment Sunday with seven at-bats in a simulated game.
The two-game interleague set will end Wednesday with D-backs LHP Madison Bumgarner (4-6, 5.09 ERA) facing Rangers RHP Jordan Lyles (5-7, 5.20). Bumgarner is 0-4 in his last six starts, 0-1 since returning from the injured list because of shoulder inflammation. Lyles has allowed the second-most homers in the majors (24).