Joey Gallo on his 453-foot homer in Detroit
Rangers manager Jeff Banister became the fastest in club history to win 300 games with Thursday's 7-5 victory against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Banister is the fifth manager in club history to win at least 300 games. He did it in the 574th game of his career, eclipsing Johnny Oates' record of 300 wins in his first 579 games.
Banister downplayed the accomplishment and credited his coaching staff and players. Banister was hired in the off-season before the 2015 season.
"They're good when you get to celebrate other people's milestones," he joked. "I'm just trying to stay ahead of Bartolo [Colon].It's a great organizational accomplishment.It's that coaching staff and every player who has come through here in the last three-plus years."
Five thoughts from a 7-5 win in Detroit:
1. Key moment for Kela — The ninth inning nearly went sideways for the Rangers, who sent closer Keone Kela to the mound with a three-run lead. The first three batters reached on singles and a Jurickson Profar fielding error, which cut the lead to 7-5. But Kela, who was going for his 21st save in 21 chances, never let the inning spin away from him.
After a visit from pitching coach Doug Brocail and a mound gathering of all his infielders, Kela went to work. He fielded a comebacker and got the force out at second for the first out. He struck out Nicholas Castellanos for the second out and then fielded another tapper back to the mound while shards of a shattered bat were flying near him and threw to first to end the game.
"History tells us those types of situations for Key could get challenging," Banister said. "He stayed calm the entire time and settled himself down. I thought he did a great job of handling the situation. He's another guy that continues to grow in his experiences in all these different situations that will pay dividends moving forward."
2. Night off for Choo — Shin-Soo Choo, who has a major league best 44-game on-base streak, did not play Thursday to help let a sore lower right quad muscle rest. Choo, who is three games from breaking Julio Franco's Rangers' on-base streak record, was available off the bench if necessary.
Choo said coming off the bench for a late at-bat with his strea on the line wouldn't bother him. Choo did not play Saturday against the White Sox. Since his streak began on May 13, the Rangers have had seven off days and Choo has been out of the lineup in three addtional games.
3. Double the fun — The Rangers turned a season-high four double plays Thursday night, all behind starter Yovani Gallardo. They helped Gallardo out of trouble in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. The first was a strikeout and caught stealing in the second when Isiah Kiner-Falefa, in his fourth start at catcher, threw out John Hicks trying to steal second. Gallardo started a 1-6-3 in the third. After allowing three runs in the fourth, Gallardo induced a 4-6-3 ending-inning double play.
4. Rodriguez makes debut — Reliever Ricardo Rodriguez made his 2018 debut when he took over for Gallardo with one out and one on in a 7-4 game in the sixth. Jim Adducii singled to being the tying run to the plate but Rodriguez struck out Ronny Rodriguez and forced Jose Iglesias to ground out. Rodriguez pitched a perfect seventh before handing the ball to Jake Diekman in the eighth.
5. Perez and Perez — Martin Perez likely made his final rehab start Thursday night for Triple-A Round Rock. He threw to catcher Carlos Perez, who is also on a rehab assignment. Perez allowed a run on six hits, including a solo homer over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none. He threw 87 pitches (58 strikes). Banister said it's likely Perez, if he feels good after a bullpen on Saturday, could return to the Rangers' rotation next week.