Texas manager Jeff Banister and his Rangers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
Yovani Gallardo has been a revelation for Texas in his return to the major leagues, winning seven of nine decisions since his contract was purchased by the Rangers from Triple-A Round Rock on June 17.
The veteran right-hander's seven wins since June 23 are the most in the majors during the past two months. He will go for his eighth win in 10 decisions on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a two-game interleague series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
The Diamondbacks will send left-hander Patrick Corbin (9-4, 3.15 ERA) to the mound against Gallardo (7-1, 6.11).
Texas took the series opener on Monday, beating Arizona 5-3 as Bartolo Colon outdueled Zack Greinke. Robinson Chirinos drove in four runs, including three with a fourth-inning homer against Greinke.
Gallardo's wins have come despite a high ERA, thanks to the Rangers scoring an average of 11.43 runs per outing for him. That support is the highest in MLB by nearly two runs. Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco is next at 9.80.
Texas manager Jeff Banister said Gallardo's improvement in the past two months is a result of a quicker tempo and having to deal with a pitch clock during his 10 starts for Round Rock. In the minor leagues, pitchers have 15 seconds to throw the ball with no runners on and 20 seconds if someone is on base.
"You have to be aware of it," Gallardo told MLB.com. "Going down there, it was one of those things that helped me not overthink situations. Just grab the ball and go.
"I know what I'm trying to do. If I get the ball and go, I'm not going to give the hitter time to think about certain situations or what might be coming next. That helped me and the guys playing behind me -- keeps them on their toes."
Gallardo will be working on five days' rest for his third consecutive start after picking up the win in the Rangers' 11-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
He has been at his best in the past month, going 4-0 while pitching 22 2/3 innings and giving up seven runs and 17 hits, striking out 12 and walking 13. Those numbers translate to a 2.78 ERA and .213 batting average against.
Gallardo has gone 7-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 13 career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Corbin Is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA in his past nine starts. Opponents are hitting just, .227 against him during that stretch, when he has struck out 66 batters against 10 walks.
Since Corbin gave up four earned runs in six innings against the San Diego Padres at the end of July, he has pitched well. In his most recent start against the Phillies, he worked 7 1/3 innings and gave up no runs and four hits while striking out eight and walking none.
"Felt really good just with everything," Corbin said of his performance against Philadelphia. "Just really good fastball command on both sides of the plate. I made some quality pitches early on."
Corbin will be making his first career appearance against the Rangers.