Lewis, in his second start of the season, shut out the Seattle Mariners over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six on 109 pitches. He left with a 1-0 lead and reliever Alexi Ogando looked strong again, giving up just one run over 1 1/3 innings.
The RBI single by Dustin Ackley in the eighth inning ended a 23 inning scoreless streak for Rangers pitching.
But Lewis' chance for a victory was spoiled in the ninth inning when closer Joe Nathan blew the save opportunity, allowing three runs on four hits.
"Overall, I felt like it was a good day," said Lewis, who has 15 strikeouts on the season, second in the AL behind the Angels Jered Weaver. "I felt like I threw all my pitches for strikes. Curveball was really good today, it kept them off balance. It was a good day."
Lewis retired 11 consecutive hitters until Michael Saunders doubled down the right-field line in the seveth. That prompted manager Ron Washington to bring in Ogando to pitch to Brendan Ryan, who he struck out to end the inning.
"I just fell behind there a little bit with Saunders in the seventh," Lewis said. "It was a 2-1 pitch and I left it [up]. I didn't want to go 3-1, so I threw him more of a slider strike than I would in more of a strikeout situation. He did a good job of keeping his hands inside and getting a double and they came and got me. I felt like I was able to throw my pitches for strikes, especially the curveball, a good night all around."