ARLINGTON, Texas – Shin-Soo Choo said he cares much more about getting on base multiple times each game than circling the bases.
Then, he proceeded to do both.
Choo reached base for the 41st straight game with a first-inning walk, tying the major league high this season, and also hit one of Texas’ five home runs in the first three innings of the Rangers’ 11-3 victory over the White Sox on Friday night.
Rougned Odor, Robinson Chirinos and Nomar Mazara homered in a seven-run second inning. Joey Gallo and Choo went deep in the third as the Rangers won for the 10th time in 12 games.
Choo matched the streak that the Philadelphia Phillies’ Odubel Herrera put together from March 30 to May 19.
Yovani Gallardo (2-0), making his third start since joining Texas on June 17, retired his first 10 batters and allowed all three runs on four hits and one walk in 71/3 seven innings. Gallardo struck out seven.
The 32-year-old who grew up in nearby Fort Worth is in his second stint with the Rangers after being released by Milwaukee in March and designated for assignment by Cincinnati in April.
Gallardo spent two months with Texas’ Triple-A Round Rock affiliate before being called up and credits the pitch clock in the minors for helping him.
Dylan Covey (3-3) allowed four homers and nine runs in 21/3 innings.
“They’re a hot team right now,” Covey said. “Just not a good one for me.”
Choo greeted Sox reliever Chris Volstad with his 15th homer of the season to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s hitting .333 during the on-base streak with 52 hits and 38 walks.
The only Texas batter in the starting lineup without a hit was Adrian Beltre, whose 3,105 career hits rank 21st in major league history.
The Sox reached their season’s halfway point at 28-53, one win better than the franchise’s worst record through 81 games.
“Hopefully, the guys are continuing to improve, catch the ball a little bit more consistently and just continue to learn and get better,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Sox infielder Matt Davidson made his first pitching appearance since high school in the eighth inning. He retired all three batters he faced, closing with a strikeout of Odor, and was mobbed upon reaching the dugout.
“I know it sounds cheesy, but it was a dream come true,” Davidson said.
DRAW IN FIRST GAME OF STRIKEOUT DERBY
Gallo and the Sox’s Yoan Moncada each fanned twice. That allowed Gallo to maintain his one-strikeout lead over Moncada atop the major leagues, 116-115.
Rangers batters lead the American League in strikeouts with 783, followed by the Sox with 774.
Sox third baseman Yolmer Sanchez, who turned 26 on Friday, was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons after sustaining a left quad contusion Thursday. Sanchez could return Saturday. ... Choo’s on-base streak is the longest since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman reached in 46 straight games in 2016. ... Covey’s ERA in five career innings against Texas is 25.20.
Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder) was recalled from his rehab assignment because of discomfort during a side session following Sunday’s start. Gonzalez will be re-evaluated.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (right elbow) will make his second rehab start on Saturday for Double-A Frisco. Perez struck out nine and allowed only two singles in five innings Monday for Single-A Hickory.
White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-2) will seek his second consecutive win on Saturday. Rodon worked eight innings to match a career high and allowed just two runs to Oakland on Sunday. Rodon will face Rangers RHP Bartolo Colon (4-5), whose 244 career wins are one short of Dennis Martinez’s record for the most by a native of Latin America.