Lowe’s homer fuels potent Rangers offense

Joey Gallo was standing on first base after hitting a single in the third inning when Nate Lowe was at the plate. On contact, Gallo said out loud, on accident: “Oh [shoot],” because he was shocked at how far Lowe hit the ball.

Lowe’s three-run homer — with a 113.9-mph exit velocity and projected distance of 465 feet, according to Statcast — landed in the fountains at Kauffman Stadium and fueled the Rangers to a 7-3 victory over the Royals in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.

Lowe’s first homer of the season gave him the MLB lead in RBIs with nine and established a Senators/Rangers franchise record for RBIs through the first three games of a season. The Rangers added three more runs in the fourth inning, capitalizing on a bases-loaded situation with a two-run single from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a sacrifice fly from David Dahl.

Gallo, who bats in the three-hole, said he loves hitting between Dahl and Lowe in the lineup. He’s now 5-for-10 through three games to go with five walks, only two strikeouts and four RBIs.

“[Dahl] puts good at-bats together, he puts a bat on the ball and,” Gallo said. “Then you got Nate behind me, who can really hit. In Spring Training, you didn’t get to see much of it, but it’s like guys are opening their eyes, like blown away. This guy can hit the ball hard the other way and puts together good at-bats.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward has praised Lowe all spring for his patient approach at the plate and that translated through the first three games. Lowe went 5-for-14 with nine RBIs in the series.

Lowe is taking quality at-bats, and even his outs have been hard-hit balls.

“We have to consistently stay in the strike zone,” Woodward said. “Nate Lowe does as good a job of that as anybody. And he’s batting behind Joey so he’s always gonna have guys on base. The good thing is if Lowe continues to hit, they’re gonna be forced to pitch to Joey at some point, too.”

The Rangers’ top four hitters — Kiner-Falefa, Dahl, Gallo and Lowe — all posted a .308 batting average or higher against the Royals.

Kiner-Falefa, who was 3-for-4 in the series finale, especially set the table for the rest of the lineup in the leadoff spot.

“I’m really excited about those guys at the top, because they’re setting the tone for the entire lineup and everybody on down, kind of feeds off of that,” Woodward said. “It allows us honestly to put crooked numbers up on the board, not just one or two, but like three or four and many. When we get things right, that’s really exciting to have that at the top.”

The most encouraging thing for Woodward was the consistency of the at-bat quality throughout all three games. On top of consistent hitting, Texas’ hitters were patient at the plate.

In a three-run fourth inning, Brock Holt, Jonah Heim and Leody Taveras drew three straight walks to start the rally.

Gallo said that while the Rangers don’t have lineups akin to the Yankees or Dodgers with four or five guys who can potentially hit 40 home runs, Texas has a group of hitters that can grind through at-bats on par with anybody in the Majors.

“I’m really happy with the lineup that we have here,” Gallo said. “Everybody does something different. I think we have everybody doing their role and playing their part. You see how this worked out the first three games, and we can put up seven to 10 runs a game if we really click like that. It’s not just about power and home runs, it’s about guys doing what they can do on the field and good things will happen.”