Lance Lynn will try to continue one of the more remarkable streaks in the majors when the Texas Rangers face the Los Angeles Angels in the second game of their four-game series on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif.
The veteran right-hander has thrown at least 100 pitches in 35 consecutive starts, the longest streak in the majors since Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers hit that mark in 80 straight regular-season appearances from June 2010 to September 2012.
Lynn (6-2, 2.40 ERA) isn’t just eating up innings for the Rangers, but he’s turning in quality performances as well, giving up two runs or fewer in nine of 11 outings this season, helping him move to the forefront of AL Cy Young Award consideration.
His lone poor outing came on Sept. 3, when he gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings of an 8-4 loss in Houston.
“The way I see it is, when I’m out there, we win more games than we lose,” he said. “That’s all I care about.”
Lynn will be matched against Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) for the third time this season.
Lynn was the winning pitcher in the first two meetings against Heaney, improving his overall career mark against the Angels to 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA in eight starts.
Heaney, meanwhile, was the losing pitcher, falling to 2-5 in his career against the Rangers with a 5.29 ERA in 12 starts.
Heaney has pitched well overall of late, however, lasting at least seven innings and allowing three runs or fewer in three of his past four starts.
The lone start in which he didn’t get through the seventh inning was Sept. 8 against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Heaney lasted five innings, allowing five runs (three earned) and five hits in the 7-1 loss, which ended a five-game winning streak by the Angels and prevented them from pulling within 3 1/2 games of the Astros for second place in the AL West.
The Astros have gone 4-5 since then, but the Angels have only gone 5-4.
Lynn will face some hot hitters in the Angels lineup.
Taylor Ward, who doubled in his only at-bat off Lynn in his career, is playing through the hottest stretch of his major league career.
Ward is 14-for-26 in his past nine games. He went 2-for-4 in the series opener on Friday, including an RBI single in his first at-bat that drove in the first run in the 6-2 victory.
Ward said he has adjusted his mindset during at-bats this season.
“In 2018 or ’19, a pitch would not go my way or I fouled off a pitch or whatever would happen, and my mindset would change, or I’d start questioning what the pitcher was going to throw, instead of sticking to my approach and what I’m looking for,” he said before the game Friday. “The biggest thing I’ve done this year is sticking to my approach when things aren’t going your way, or however it is, the entire at-bat.”
The Angels could be down an outfielder after Justin Upton was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the seventh inning on Friday night and left the game.
–Field Level Media