Gallo follows debut with second home run

Prospect hits leadoff homer in ninth on Wednesday

Gallo follows debut with second home run

ARLINGTON -- Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo received over 100 text messages after his big Major League debut on Tuesday night. He didn't bother checking the explosion on social media after he went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and four RBIs in the Rangers' 15-2 rout of the White Sox.

He may have just as many Wednesday night after hitting his second home run in as many games, going deep off Chicago's Zach Duke in the ninth inning of a 9-2 Rangers loss. With that blast, Gallo became the first Rangers player to homer in his first two Major League games.

Among those he talked to following his debut were Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. All three are from Las Vegas and played with and against each other growing up.

#THIS: Gallo's glorious debut

Gallo is the youngest of the three and the last to the big leagues but talks to both Harper and Bryant regularly.

"Bryce just said congratulations and to keep raking," Gallo said.

Harper, who is off to the best start of his career, has been in the big leagues for four years. Bryant and Gallo are both rookies. They have spent the past few years battling for Minor League home run supremacy, but Gallo said they are not rivals.

"I cheer for him," Gallo said. "He is in a completely different league. I'm always cheering for Vegas guys, especially friends. He is not a rival at all."

There have been 37 players born in Nevada who have made the Major Leagues, but many of them, like Barry Zito and Nate Schierholz, went to high school outside the state. Gallo, Bryant and Harper were all born and raised in the Las Vegas area.

Statcast: Gallo's monster homer

"Something in the water, maybe," Gallo said. "Baseball is really not that big. Football is big and basketball is big, but baseball is not all that big even though there are a lot of good players because you can play year-round."

Gallo, a left-handed hitter, was called up on Tuesday to replace Adrian Beltre, who is on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb.

He was back in the lineup on Wednesday with left-hander Chris Sale on the mound. Gallo has hit .176 off left-handers over the past two seasons in the Minor Leagues after hitting .309 against them in 2013.

Sale held left-handed batters to a combined .189 batting average from 2011-14, although they are hitting .320 off him this season.

"We didn't see many left-handers in Double-A this season, there are not that many," said Gallo, who struck out three times against Sale before hitting his home run against the lefty Duke. "I've always been comfortable against them, the more I see them, the more I will get used to them."

The Rangers are not going to steer Gallo away from left-handed pitchers.

"Every experience that you go through only adds value to the process," manager Jeff Banister said. "He has to face them sometime. You've got to evaluate the makeup, the aptitude, the competitive balance. You didn't see anything that wavered in Spring Training. He hasn't given us anything to indicate at this level not to go take the at-bats. If we didn't feel he could handle them, he wouldn't be here. The plan bringing him up here was to play him."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.