Gallardo has enjoyed unusually strong run support since returning to the majors after a two-month stint with Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers averaged 11 runs per game in his three June starts, including an 11-3 thumping of the Chicago White Sox on Friday when they blasted five home runs.
Gallardo hopes he will continue to be a good luck charm when he starts the opener of a four-game series against the Tigers in Detroit on Thursday night.
“This is what they do,” Gallardo told MLB.com and other reporters afterward. “This is the kind of offense we have here. It definitely makes it easier, but yet it is one of those things where you can’t allow it to get out of hand as well. You’ve just got to keep it tight in the strike zone and get some quick outs.”
Gallardo (2-0, 9.00 ERA) didn’t require an offensive explosion from his team against the White Sox, as he delivered his best outing of the season. He tossed 7 1/3 innings on just 90 pitches, giving up three runs on four hits and striking out seven.
“He was in control the whole time,” Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos told MLB.com. “I think he built from that last outing (5 1/3 innings) in Minnesota. It was the same thing; he’s throwing really well.”
Gallardo, who was released by Cincinnati in April, is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers, but he has not faced them since 2015.
He’ll be opposed by left-hander Matthew Boyd (4-6, 4.18), one of several Detroit pitchers who could be dealt this season.
Boyd has gone winless in his last four starts, though his last start was a quality outing at Toronto. He gave up three runs on four hits over six innings and posted seven strikeouts, his highest total since May 17.
The Rangers have given Boyd fits in the past. He is 1-4 with a 5.53 ERA in five career starts against them. Chirinos has homered twice against Boyd in seven career at-bats.
Detroit will try to bounce back from two road losses to the streaking Chicago Cubs, who have won six straight. The Tigers lost 5-2 on Wednesday, and manager Ron Gardenhire had to depart to the clubhouse early due to heat exhaustion. He is expected to be back in the Tigers dugout on Thursday.
“It’s frustrating to be right there, to be so close,” catcher James McCann told MLB.com. “But at the end of the day, that’s not reflected in your win-loss column. It’s either a win or a loss. We came up short two games in a row.”
The Tigers have lost 13 of their last 15 games, but they do have a hot hitter in Nicholas Castellanos, who has hit safely in 10 of the last 11 games. Castellanos smacked a solo homer and walked twice on Wednesday.
Texas’ Shin-Soo Choo has been swinging an even hotter bat. Choo has reached base in 44 consecutive games after getting two hits, including a homer, on Wednesday. The Rangers will have a quick turnaround after losing at home in extra innings to Houston 5-4 in that game.