Bundy, Gibson battle in Angels-Rangers series finale

MLB

The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels finish their three-game series Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, with no apparent lingering bad blood resulting from Tuesday’s game.

Rangers pitcher Lance Lynn hit an Angels hitter with a pitch three times Tuesday, including Justin Upton twice. Upton was plunked on the left hand both times, the second time forcing him out of the game. Anthony Rendon also was hit by a pitch.

X-rays of Upton’s hand were negative, but he was not in the lineup for the Angels’ 7-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday.

With the three hit batters on Tuesday, Lynn has hit a batter six times this season, most in the majors.

“I hit Upton twice and hated both of them,” Lynn said. “I heard that X-rays were negative, so (I was) very happy to hear that. Nothing was intentional, and I wasn’t even trying to go in there.

“When you look with the season that’s gone on, and the way everything has gone, you don’t want to hurt anyone ever. And then with the way everybody has been fighting and doing all of that, and you hit the same guy twice in the same spot, that’s the thing that gets you the most.”

Angels infielder David Fletcher is eligible to come off the injured list Thursday and could be back in the starting lineup. When Fletcher rolled his ankle on Aug. 30 against the Seattle Mariners, he had played every inning of every Angels game this season.

Fletcher’s return can’t come soon enough for Angels manager Joe Maddon, considering he had to go with Matt Thaiss at second base on Tuesday. Fletcher and Franklin Barreto (shoulder) were both on the injured list and Luis Rengifo was nursing a sore wrist and thumb and has struggled offensively all season.

So Maddon went with Thaiss, who made a critical error in the game, allowing two unearned runs to score.

“Obviously my comfort level is not there, but we as an organization take pride in having guys be able to play everywhere,” Thaiss said. “So that’s something I’ve go to learn to do.”

On Wednesday, Thaiss was in left field for the injured Upton, and Rengifo, hitting just .151 this season, got the start at second base.

Despite missing the past nine games, Fletcher still leads the team in hits (45), doubles (nine) and batting average (.313). Defensively, Fletcher has made three errors in 136 chances this season while playing second base, shortstop and third base (.978 fielding percentage).

Dylan Bundy, the Angels’ best starter this season, will be on the mound for the club. He’s 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA and has allowed more than three earned runs in a game only once in his eight starts.

He got a no-decision in his most recent start Sept. 4 against the Houston Astros, despite a strong performance — he gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out eight.

Bundy is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in seven career appearances (five starts) against the Rangers.

Bundy ranks among the American League leaders in ERA, strikeouts (55) and innings pitched (50 2/3).

Kyle Gibson, 1-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts, will be on the mound for Texas. He is 3-3 with a 4.76 ERA in 11 career starts against the Angels, but hasn’t faced them this season.

–Field Level Media

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