Joey Gallo starting in center field for Rangers on Saturday

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Interesting lineup note for the Rangers today, as rookie Joey Gallo is starting in center field against the Blue Jays. Let’s just say that he doesn’t have much in the way of experience at the position…

Gallo has appeared in 13 games in left field this season between the majors and the minors, but otherwise he has exclusively played third base. However, he’s getting the nod over the struggling Leonys Martin in center field this afternoon.

Adrian Beltre returned from his thumb injury this week and the Rangers are close to getting Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields, Jr. back from the disabled list, so Gallo could be headed down to the minors soon. The 21-year-old is batting .224/.306/.461 with five home runs and 10 RBI over his first 22 games in the majors. He has struck out in 42.4 percent of his plate appearances.

Stephen Strasburg homers, knocks in five runs vs. Braves

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Stephen Strasburg‘s bat was on fire Thursday night in Atlanta. He hit a three-run home run off of Touki Toussaint to cap off an eight-run third inning, then added a two-run single off of Toussaint in the fifth.

The last time a pitcher knocked in at least five runs was on April 11, 2014 when Madison Bumgarner homered and drove in five runs at home against the Rockies. Strasburg is just the seventh pitcher since 2000 to knock in five runs in one game. The others, along with Strasburg and Bumgarner:

  • Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) vs. Reds, October 1, 2009 (HR, 6 RBI)
  • Jason Marquis (Cubs) vs. Mets, September 22, 2008 (HR, 5 RBI)
  • Micah Owings (Diamondbacks) vs. Braves, August 18, 2007 (2 HR, 6 RBI)
  • Robert Person (Phillies) vs. Expos, June 2, 2002 (HR, 7 RBI)
  • Shawn Estes (Giants) vs. Expos, May 24, 2000 (HR, 5 RBI)

Strasburg is 3-for-3 overall as he also singled to lead off the third. Tonight’s homer marked the fourth of his career and he’s now up to 25 RBI.

Strasburg is performing well on the mound as well. At the time of this writing, he has held the Braves to a lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings as the Nationals lead 10-1.