Rangers Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Looking To Avoid Series Loss, Gavin Lux Starts
Gavin Lux, 2020 Spring Training
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

After erasing a deficit, only for the bullpen to allow the Texas Rangers to pull back ahead, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in need of a win Saturday to avoid losing their first series of the season.

They turn to Ross Stripling, who is also looking to bounce back on a personal level as he’s become snakebit by home runs. Of the 10 homers Stripling has allowed this season, nine have come off his fastball. It’s a problem he’s yet to have an answer for.

Globe Life Field is not hitter-friendly, which could work in Stripling’s favor. “I just want to see him be super aggressive, and that’s with his entire mix,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“This can be a dangerous team, there are some lanes that you can pitch these guys, and Ross has got four different weapons to get left and right out. I just really want him to be aggressive, go as hard as he can for as long as he can. I expect good things to happen because Ross has very good stuff.”

Stripling is backed by a Dodgers lineup that again features Gavin Lux starting at second base. Lux joined the team as the 29th player for their doubleheader and made his 2020 debut on Thursday. He was recalled Saturday as a corresponding move to Mitch White getting optioned.

“Gavin, to his credit, has put the work in at the secondary site, cleaned up the swing, taken a lot of at-bats and feels in sync,” Roberts said. “Right now the plan is to play him against right-handed pitchers.”

Lance Lynn is the first of two consecutive right-handed starters the Dodgers will face. Coincidentally, L.A. is among the teams that have been linked to Lynn trade talks. He’s been a bright spot for the Rangers in what’s otherwise been a disappointing season.

Lynn enters 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA through seven starts thus far. He’s a lifetime 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in seven starts against the Dodgers, but hasn’t faced them since 2017.

“Everything is hard, it’s sinking, it’s cutting, it’s got some rise, it’s got a little bit of that invisiball characteristic, where you take a swing and you don’t know how you missed it,” Roberts said of Lynn.

“It’s high percentage fastballs, you’ve got to look up in the zone and hopefully try to put good swings on it. He’s been a very good pitcher for quite some time. I remember when he was in St. Louis. He’s doing a lot of nice things.”

The Dodgers are without Justin Turner, who is being held out for the final two games of the series after being removed Friday due to what’s now been described as a mild left hamstring strain.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Max Muncy
CF: Cody Bellinger
DH: Joc Pederson
1B: Matt Beaty
LF: AJ Pollock
2B: Gavin Lux
C: Will Smith

Rangers lineup

LF: Shin-Soo Cho
2B: Nick Solak
3B: Todd Frazier
RF: Joey Gallo
SS: Isiah Kiner-Falefa
DH: Derek Dietrich
C: Robinson Chirinos
1B: Ronald Guzman
CF: Leody Taveras

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