ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers stuck to their plan against Lance Lynn, and tagged the Texas workhorse starter with his first loss of the season.
Lynn’s next start could be for a team like the Dodgers, a contender in this shortened MLB season.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he’s been really good this year, really good last year,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “If I was a contenting team that was in first place and wanting to win a World Series, that’d be the guy I’d look for. But I hope he stays with us.'”
Bellinger hit a long two-run homer in the third inning and Max Muncy had a deep sacrifice fly off Lynn in a 7-4 win Saturday for the Dodgers, who can still avoid their first series loss of the season. Muncy, who played high school baseball about 25 miles from the new Rangers ballpark, added a three-run homer late after the Texas starter was done.
“We just tried to stay aggressive on him, and if it didn’t work out for the first few innings we’d just stick with our plan,” Bellinger said. “We knew he had good heaters and really good stuff. We just stuck with our plan and succeeded against him.”
The trade deadline is Monday, and it could take a hefty offer for a team to acquire the 33-year-old right-hander who was the opening-day starter for Texas and signed through next season.
Lynn (4-1) is still second in the American League with a 1.97 ERA after giving up four runs (three earned) with six strikeouts and three walks in six innings. He threw 110 pitches, his MLB-best 32nd start in a row with at least 100.
“I’m going to sleep a little bit, come in tomorrow and watch a game, then play some golf on Monday. I’ll be all right,” Lynn said, when asked his feelings about the next 24-48 hours until the deadline.
“I’m planning on my next start here and being a part of this team, and being with the guys that I’m with right now, that I have been with for quite some time now. And I enjoy them,” he said. “So that’s all I can do. And whatever else happens, happens. … I’m here until I’m not. I’m never one step out the door.”
Blake Treinen (3-1) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings after Texas native Ross Stripling didn’t get an out in the fifth. Kenley Jansen worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Along with their MLB-best 25-10 record, the Dodgers won their first 11 series. They can make it 12 in a row in a finale Sunday after splitting the first two games against Texas, which has lost 11 of its last 13 games.
Ronald Guzman and rookie center fielder Leody Taveras homered on the first two pitches Stripling threw in the third. The Dodgers right-hander was done after Guzman and Taveras, the Nos. 8 and 9 batters, both reached again to start the fifth.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner was out with a left hamstring strain and manager Dave Roberts said he also wouldn’t play Sunday. Turner got hurt on a stolen base in the seventh inning Friday night.
Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus (lower back strain) can come off the injured list as early as Sunday, and has been working out with no issues. Woodward said Andrus “feels really pretty much 100%.” … 2B Rougned Odor has missed four games in a row with an infection in his right eye.
The Dodgers lead the majors with 65 homers, including 54 in August. With two homers Sunday, in the last game they play this month, they would tie the NL record for homers in a month (Atlanta hit 56 in June 2019). … Los Angeles leads the majors with a +85 run differential, while Texas is the worst at -53. … The Dodgers recalled INF Gavin Lux and optioned RHP Mitch White a day after he made his MLB debut with a scoreless inning.
There was a moment of silence before the game for Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played Jackie Robinson in the movie “42.” Boseman died from colon cancer Friday, the day Major League Baseball marked its annual Jackie Robinson Day.
GOOD TO BE INSIDE
At first pitch, it was 105 degrees outside with a heat index of 111. It was 72 degrees inside the new Texas stadium with the retractable roof closed. Heavy rain showers moved through the area during the game.
Texas starter Kyle Gibson (1-3, 5.73) allowed 12 runs over 11 1-3 innings his last two starts. Dodgers spot starter Tony Gonsolin has 14 2-3 scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts in three starts.
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