Lance Lynn had more strikes thrown than words used post-game to describe his major league-best 12th victory, one that got the Texas Rangers off to the kind of start their manager had hoped for coming out of the All-Star break.
The short answers have become as common for the big right-hander as his impressive outings on the mound.
Lynn on Thursday matched his season high with 11 strikeouts in seven strong innings as the Rangers beat the American League West-leading Houston Astros 5-0 in the only game as Major League Baseball resumed its schedule.
“It was a good game. We scored runs, played good defense. They didn’t score any runs, we won,” Lynn said in one of his longer responses to five questions in his post-game talk with reporters that lasted about 75 seconds.
Lynn (12-4) won his fifth consecutive start and is 8-1 over his past 11. He scattered six hits (five singles and a double) and walked two, while throwing 75 of 110 pitches for strikes.
“He’s going to fill the zone up, keep everybody on their toes and try to get them to put the ball in play by throwing strikes,” Rangers catcher Jeff Mathis said. “That’s what we’ve come to expect of him and he’s been doing it lately.”
Houston (57-34) still has a seven-game division lead over Oakland, with the Rangers (49-42) eight games back in third place.
Astros lefty Framber Valdez (3-5) did not make it out of the first inning, when Texas jumped ahead with four runs.
Jose Leclerc and Chris Martin each pitched an inning to wrap up the fourth shutout for the Rangers this season.
Texas were up 1-0 before sluggers Nomar Mazara and All-Star outfielder Joey Gallo had strange hits.
Mazara had an infield single when the ball spun off his shattered bat and barely got past the mound, then Gallo drove in a run with a double that ricocheted hard off second baseman Jose Altuve and never got out of the infield.
Rougned Odor made it 4-0 when he drove in two runs with the first of his two doubles. Odor doubled again in the third and then scored on a single by Jeff Mathis.
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