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Lynn leads Rangers with 11-K gem vs. Mariners

Guzman, Mazara, Gallo deliver at plate as Texas wins 3rd straight
@Sullivan_Ranger
May 22, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had an all-encompassing win on Tuesday night, with contributions coming from offense, pitching, baserunning and errorless defense. The foundation of it all was starting pitching. Lance Lynn held the Mariners to two runs in seven innings, and the Rangers won their third straight, 5-3, at Globe

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had an all-encompassing win on Tuesday night, with contributions coming from offense, pitching, baserunning and errorless defense.

The foundation of it all was starting pitching. Lance Lynn held the Mariners to two runs in seven innings, and the Rangers won their third straight, 5-3, at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have also won six of their last seven to get back to .500.

Box score

Making his 200th career start, Lynn set season highs with 11 strikeouts and 120 pitches. It marked the first time a Rangers pitcher has thrown that many pitches in a game since Yu Darvish hurled 125 on April 29, 2017, against the Angels.

“It was an all-around good team win, for sure,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Lance was what we would expect. I didn’t want him to throw 120 pitches. Those kind of guys in baseball are rare to find. He’s getting an extra day, so that led me to leave him in there a little longer than normal. But he is a guy we count on to go out there and compete like that.”

Most of the offense came from the two big guys in the middle of the order. Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Joey Gallo had a double and a crucial two-run home run in the eighth.

Mazara also hustled out a run with his baserunning in the fourth. The Rangers led, 1-0, when he led off with a double against Mariners starter Tommy Milone. With Gallo at the plate, the Mariners employed a drastic shift to the right-field side, and third baseman Tim Beckham was way off the bag.

Mazara took advantage of it and broke on the second pitch, stealing third base for the first time in his career.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Mazara said. “That was the perfect moment to do it because they were in a shift. Sometimes the guy isn’t really paying attention. So I was like, 'OK, let me see a pitch,' because he was looking at me on that pitch. On the second one, he had no clue. They know I don’t steal bases. I looked at [third base coach Tony] Beasley and I gave him the sign that I was going and he was like, 'Yeah, go for it.'"

Mazara wound up scoring on Asdrubal Cabrera’s sacrifice fly, just beating center fielder Mitch Haniger’s throw to the plate and getting his hand underneath catcher Omar Narvaez’s tag. Mazara’s RBI double in the sixth gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead.

Lynn had a three-hit shutout going into the seventh, but he walked Daniel Vogelbach and gave up a single to Edwin Encarnacion. Narvaez then launched a long drive to deep right that hit off the top of the wall, just missing a game-tying home run.

“Heck, I was surprised he even swung at the pitch,” Lynn said. “I think it was the first curveball I had thrown for a strike the whole night. So, for me, when he even swung at it, I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'”

Vogelbach scored on the play and Encarnacion went to third, but Narvaez was held to a single. Jay Bruce’s sacrifice fly brought home one run, and then Lynn got out of the inning with the lead by striking out Beckham and J.P. Crawford. That kept it a one-run game.

“No, that was my inning to finish,” Lynn said. “I think if you ask Woody, he knew it. We were getting down to the bottom of the lineup, and I wanted to clean up my mess there. Yeah, and if he'd have told me I was going back out for the eighth, I would have done it. That's just who I am and how I was brought up.”

Lynn didn’t go back out. Jose Leclerc, continuing his resurgence, set down the side in order in the eighth and Shawn Kelley, in his first outing since coming off the injured list, worked the ninth. Gallo’s two-run home run gave Kelley a cushion, and he earned his third save despite giving up a home run to Narvaez.

Woodward said the eighth, with Leclerc protecting a 3-2 lead, was the pivotal inning.

“More of the leverage inning," Woodward said. "So for Leclerc to get through that unscathed in a one-run game was a really good sign. It was awesome to have Kelley back out there. I love his walk-up song. I haven’t heard that in a while, so it was good to hear that again.”

Calhoun (left quad muscle) leaves early

Outfielder Willie Calhoun left Tuesday’s game in the top of the seventh with tightness in his left quad muscle, which he felt while running out a ground ball in the bottom of the sixth.

Calhoun is expected to undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.

“He said it was right around the bag, when he hit the bag,” Woodward said. “He felt it tighten up on him. We are obviously going to re-evaluate him in the morning. Get an MRI and see where he is at. If it is an actual strain, it could possibly be a [trip to the injured list]. Hopefully it’s not. Hopefully the MRI shows nothing and we can move on. We’ll find out tomorrow morning.”

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.