Joey Gallo

Joey Gallo
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Joey Gallo exits game with oblique injury

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Rangers centerfielder Joey Gallo was lifted from Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Royals after experiencing tightness in his left oblique. While the extent of his injury has yet to be determined, he’s expected to undergo an MRI and appears likely to end up on the injured list, if only as a precaution.

Gallo broke through a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a first-pitch, two-RBI home run against the Royals’ Homer Bailey, but didn’t survive his second trip to the plate in the fifth. He made it through a handful of pitches from Bailey before grabbing at his side, at which point he consulted with club manager Chris Woodward and a team trainer. He left the game shortly afterward and was replaced by outfielder and pinch-hitter Danny Santana, who grounded into a force out and stole second base before the inning came to an uneventful end.

Per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Gallo initially felt discomfort in his oblique after returning a base hit from Cheslor Cuthbert in the top of the fourth, but elected to remain in the game until his next at-bat.

Injury notwithstanding, the 25-year-old is off to a strong start in 2019. He exited Saturday’s game with a .276/.421/.653 batting line, 17 home runs, and an AL-best 1.074 OPS through 214 plate appearances. Should Gallo be confined to the injured list for the next couple of weeks, Wilson adds that Triple-A outfielders Delino DeShields and Zack Granite may be in line to replace him in center field.