The Associated PressARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Lance Lynn had more strikes thrown than words used postgame to describe his major league-best 12th victory, one that got the Texas Rangers off to the kind of start their manager had hoped for coming out of the All-Star break.
The short answers have become as common for the big right-hander as his impressive outings on the mound.
Lynn matched his season high with 11 strikeouts in seven strong innings and the Rangers beat the AL West-leading Houston Astros 5-0 in the only game Thursday night when Major League Baseball resumed its schedule.
“It was a good game. We scored runs, played good defense. They didn’t score any runs, we won,” Lynn said in one of his longer responses to five questions in his postgame talk with reporters that lasted about 75 seconds.
Lynn (12-4) won his fifth consecutive start, and is 8-1 over his last 11 starts. He scattered six hits (five singles and a double) and walked two while throwing 75 of 110 pitches for strikes.
“He’s going to fill the zone up, keep everybody on their toes and try to get them to put the ball in play by throwing strikes,” catcher Jeff Mathis said. “That’s what we’ve come to expect of him and he’s been doing it lately.”
Houston (57-34) still has a seven-game division lead over Oakland, with the Rangers (49-42) eight games back in third place.
Astros lefty Framber Valdez (3-5) didn’t make it out of the first inning as Texas scored four runs.
“We’ve seen this out of him,” manager AJ Hinch said. “The good version is really good. And the version that struggles, it’s tough for him to manage innings and get out of innings.”
Lynn, who signed a $30 million, three-year free agent deal over the winter after pitching for Minnesota and the New York Yankees last year, is 8-0 in 10 home starts for the Rangers.
“He seems to be throwing harder this year,” Astros right fielder Josh Reddick said. “He’s already got such a heavy fastball that gets on you pretty quick. And once you add a little more velo to that, it’s going to be a little bit harder task.”
Marisnick banned 2 games
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Houston outfielder Jake Marisnick has been suspended for two games by MLB after his violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
The ban was announced before the AL West-leading Astros played Texas in their first game after the All-Star break. Marisnick also was fined.