|Rangers' Lynn looks to continue run vs. D-backs|
Lance Lynn will look for his major-league-leading 13th victory when the Texas Rangers start a two-game interleague series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday at Arlington, Texas.
Lynn, further stating his case as a prime contender for the American League Cy Young Award, shut down the hot-hitting Houston Astros on Thursday in his first start after the All-Star break. He struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and two walks.
Lynn (12-4, 3.69 ERA) is riding his mid-90s fastball and his cutter more this season, decreasing the usage of his sinker, in a bounce-back season after he went 10-10 with a 4.77 ERA for the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees last season.
The burly right-hander heads into Tuesday's game having won five consecutive starts, including a scoreless eight-inning effort against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 28.
"I don't consider him like most pitchers," Texas manager Chris Woodward said of the 32-year-old veteran. "He's got a lot of old-school. I think if he were pitching back in the '70s or '80s, he'd probably go 170 pitches. That's just his mentality. In this day and age, to go 110 pretty much every time out is pretty rare. ...
"He always tells me after about 95, 'I'm just getting loose.'"
Lynn has had plenty of success against the Diamondbacks. He is 6-0 with a 2.80 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) vs. Arizona, including a victory in Phoenix this season. He gave up one run in six innings on April 10 in a 5-2 victory.
The teams split two games at Chase Field, with Arizona winning 5-4 on a two-run walk-off homer from Jarrod Dyson on April 9.
The Diamondbacks lost their past two games at St. Louis to fall to 47-47 in what has been a treading-water kind of season in which they are chasing a wild-card spot.
"If we're happy to be at .500, we're making a big mistake here," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, according to mlb.com.
"These guys are much better than that, and I know they feel that way. I know I'm certainly not happy sitting around .500, so if that's the mindset we have, I probably need to stay ahead of that and make sure that we know that we're a better team than that."
Arizona's Tuesday starter will be rookie left-hander Alex Young, who, like Lynn, was special his last time out.
Young (2-0, 0.68 ERA) was working on a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies in the final game ahead of the All-Star break before Lovullo pulled him after 71 pitches with the D-backs up 5-0. Young was making just his third major league appearance and second start. He began the season as a reliever at Triple-A Reno, so Lovullo had the 23-year-old on a pitch count.
"There was no way he was going to get three more innings out of his pitch count, for his health," Lovullo said after that game. "And, to me, there is nothing more important than the good health of our young players."
The Rockies broke up the no-hitter in the seventh inning, but the Diamondbacks held on to win 5-3.
Young, who has allowed a mere three hits in 13 1/3 innings this season, might have to face All-Star slugger Hunter Pence, who could be activated off a rehab assignment. Pence, hitting .294 with 15 home runs in 55 games, has been out since June 17 due to a right groin strain.
--Field Level Media