ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A four-run deficit in the first inning didn’t mean much to Nomar Mazara and Lance Lynn.
Mazara hit two home runs, Lynn shook off a rough start and retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced, and Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Saturday night.
“Nothing (Lynn) does kind of surprises me,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “His competitiveness, no matter what the circumstances, it’s awesome for all our guys to watch.”
Run-scoring singles by Shin-Soo Choo and Delino DeShields wiped out Chicago’s 5-4 lead in the sixth inning against Evan Marshall (3-1), who had not allowed an earned run in 17 1/3 previous innings this season.
“A four-pitch walk, 3-0 to the next guy. That’s seven straight (balls),” Marshall said. “They were on me tonight. That’s a good streak for me to start this year. Let’s start a new one tomorrow.”
Mazara had his fourth career two-homer game and drove in three runs.
He came to the plate in the first with Chicago leading 4-0, two outs and Elvis Andrus on first base. Mazara hit a 3-1 pitch from Odrisamer Despaigne into the upper deck in right field. Logan Forsythe doubled home another run to pull the Rangers within 4-3.
“We just tried to give Lynn as much time as we can so he can go out there and recover and battle,” Mazara said. “We saw a lot of pitches.”
Despaigne threw 34 pitches in the bottom of the 39-minute first inning, after Lynn had used 33.
After that, Lynn took over.
“He’s really good at making adjustments in game,” Woodward said. “He gave up four in the first, but he didn’t let that affect him.”
Lynn (9-4) said simply, “You’re only as good as your next pitch.”
Lynn improved to 6-0 at home and tied his season high with seven innings pitched but allowed five earned runs and fell one short of tying the Rangers record of nine consecutive quality starts. Chris Martin pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save in four opportunities.
Tim Anderson hit a solo home run and three-run double for Chicago.
On Anderson’s two-out, two-strike double in the first, DeShields couldn’t run down the ball at the right-center field wall. Anderson scored four pitches later on a double to left center by Yolmer Sanchez.
Mazara tied the game against Despaigne in the third with a solo homer, his third in his first six plate appearances in the series.
Lynn retired 13 White Sox batters in a row before Anderson regained Chicago’s lead with his homer to center field.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday that could determine whether he’ll return after being placed on the injured list June 9. His return could determine who would start for Chicago on Tuesday at Boston.
“We’ll see how it goes (Sunday),” manager Rick Renteria said, “and then we could make a clear assessment of when we’ll use him.”
Rangers: They could have both of their All-Star finalists back from the injured list for their next series at Detroit. OF Joey Gallo (strained left oblique, on the IL since June 2) is expected back from an injury-rehab assignment “right now, Tuesday,” manager Chris Woodward said. OF/DH Hunter Pence (strained right groin) is expected to play Thursday, the first day he’s eligible to come off the IL.
1B Ronald Guzman left the game in the ninth inning because of what Woodward called “a little heel soreness.”
GAME OF MILLILITERS
In a pregame cow milking contest between relief pitchers, Texas’ Shawn Kelley edged Chicago’s Josh Osich. In the baseball game, Osich shut out the Rangers in a career-high 2 1/3 innings.
The only Texas pitchers to reach nine straight quality starts in a season were Kenny Rogers in 1993 and 2005, and Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry in 1975. Lynn’s eight straight quality starts were the most by an American League pitcher this season.
Lynn’s 6-0 home record tied Minnesota’s Jake Odorizzi for the AL’s best. Lynn pitched six-plus innings for an 11th straight start, one away from his career high set in 2017.
Chicago’s Charlie Tilson doubled his assist total for the season by starting plays that threw out Asdrubal Cabrera at home in the first inning and Willie Calhoun at third base in the third. Second baseman Yolmer Sanchez made both relay throws.
Chicago RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.01) is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA on the road this season, and 2-1, 3.09 in four career games at Arlington. Rangers rookie RHP Adrian Sampson (5-4, 4.40) will be facing the White Sox for the first time in the conclusion of the three-game series.
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