Texas Rangers right-hander Jordan Lyles already hit one milestone this month. He’ll try to reach another when he takes the mound against the host Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
Lyles (9-12, 5.36 ERA) is aiming to reach double digits in wins for the second time in his 11-year major league career.
After winning three consecutive starts, Lyles had his first opportunity at win No. 10 on Sunday against the visiting Chicago White Sox. However, he lasted only 3 2/3 innings after surrendering five runs and eight hits in a 7-2 loss.
Lyles was recognized in a postgame ceremony last weekend for his decade of service in the majors, a mark less than 10 percent of big-league players reach in their careers.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs, obviously, like in any career, but I really appreciate his humility,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s an amazing accomplishment to get 10 years.”
The rest of the Texas rotation is filled with youngsters, and Woodward isn’t comfortable stretching most of them out yet, but it has put extra mileage on his bullpen.
Lyles can help out by pitching deep into games in these final weeks. Before his abbreviated outing on Sunday, he had thrown at least 6 2/3 innings in each of his previous three starts.
Spencer Howard started Friday night for the Rangers, his seventh start since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30. He tossed four innings — not overly impressive, but still his high in a Texas uniform.
He wasn’t around to benefit from a five-run, ninth-inning rally that lifted the Rangers (56-98) to an 8-5 win over the Orioles (49-105).
“It’s been a long year for a lot of guys, but it’s really important that (the young pitchers) get out there,” Woodward said. “I think it’d be good for a lot of these young guys just to try to maintain some consistency through the end of the year, whether they’re dealing with mental or physical fatigue. It’s a really difficult thing for a lot of these guys to do.”
Lyles is 0-2 in two career appearances against the Orioles, including one start, with a 4.50 ERA. He hasn’t faced Baltimore since 2016.
Right-hander Chris Ellis (1-0, 2.39 ERA) is slated to start Saturday against the Rangers. He has earned no-decisions in each of his five starts since joining the Rays. In his most recent outing, against the Yankees on Sept. 16, he allowed two runs and three hits in four and two-thirds innings.
This will be the first career start against the Rangers for Ellis, whom the Orioles claimed off waivers from the Rays on Aug. 20.
Cedric Mullins hit a three-run home run on Friday to become the first player in Baltimore history with at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season. He also has exactly 30 steals.
Mullins said, “Just that experience, the trip around the bases, the curtain call immediately after going out on the field, the guys letting me have that moment to just kind of take a breather on the situation, I’m proud of this moment and it’s just awesome and surreal.”
–Field Level Media