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Lynn notches 11th win as Odor homers twice

@Sullivan_Ranger
July 4, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Lance Lynn pitched out of two big jams on Thursday night. Both times he did so, second baseman Rougned Odor rewarded him with a big blast. Odor drove in five runs with a pair of home runs, Lynn earned his league-leading 11th win and the Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Lance Lynn pitched out of two big jams on Thursday night. Both times he did so, second baseman Rougned Odor rewarded him with a big blast.

Odor drove in five runs with a pair of home runs, Lynn earned his league-leading 11th win and the Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 9-3 victory over the Angels at Globe Life Park.

Box score

Lynn is the ninth pitcher in club history to have 11 wins before the All-Star break. The last one was Matt Harrison in 2012, and the last right-handers were Aaron Sele (12) and Rick Helling (11) in 1998.

Lynn went seven innings, allowing two runs on nine hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. He is now 11-4 with a 3.91 ERA, tying him with Lucas Giolito for the American League lead in wins. He is 9-2 with a 3.09 ERA in his last 13 starts and has pitched at least seven innings while winning each of his past four starts.

“It’s pretty remarkable,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “At the start of the season, he was pretty good. I’d say the last 10 or 11 starts, he has been lights-out. He and Mike Minor probably have been the best 1-2 punch in baseball.

“He is so reliable. You know he is going to go deep in the game. He is going to compete every pitch. He has been a huge factor for us in the position where we are in right now.”

The Angels had a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the third when Nomar Mazara put the Rangers ahead with a two-run double. The Angels had runners at the corners with two outs in the fourth, but Lynn struck out Kole Calhoun to end the threat.

“He pitched outstanding,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “He uses three different versions of a fastball, mixes in a curveball. You don’t see a lot of two fastballs moving in the same direction, one running in on righties and running away from righties and in on lefties, and he’s got the four-seamer he can ride up. His velocity was up there. He did a nice job.”

Odor rewarded Lynn by hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth off of Angels starter Griffin Canning. Odor’s big night came after he was 1-for-7 with six strikeouts in his previous two games. He struck out four times on Wednesday night.

“I have been feeling pretty good,” Odor said. “But when you have a guy like Lance Lynn pitching, he is always battling. He gives you 100 percent of what he’s got and he pushes you to play better.”

Lynn, holding a 6-2 lead, had another big moment in the seventh after a pair of one-out singles by Luis Rengifo and Calhoun put runners on first and second. That brought up Mike Trout with Shohei Ohtani on deck. The Rangers also had right-handed reliever Chris Martin ready in the bullpen.

“The Trout at-bat, I liked the matchup especially with Lynn later in the game,” Woodward said. “He can rear back; he always has something left in the tank. I talked to him the inning before to see where he was at and how much he had left, and he said he was fine.”

Trout had already hit a home run in the first, but Lynn didn’t back down and got him on a fly to center off a 97 mph, full-count fastball. Woodward went out to check on Lynn and left him in to face Ohtani. Lynn needed only one more pitch, a 95 mph fastball, and Ohtani flied out to right field.

“He’s a bulldog,” Mazara said. “He saw Woody come out of the dugout and he was like, ‘No, I’m not coming out of the game.’ When you’ve got a guy like that and the pitch count doesn’t matter and he’s just trying to get out of the inning, it means a lot. Woody walked back like this guy is crazy. When you’ve got a guy like that on the mound, it makes everything easier.”

Again Odor rewarded Lynn in the bottom of the inning. This time he crushed a three-run home run to right-center field that landed in the upper deck above the Rangers bullpen. Statcast estimated it at 471 feet.

“It’s a long season,” Odor said. “You have to keep battling and playing hard and keep playing together. That’s what you have to do, and that’s what we are going to do.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.