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Lewis needs quick innings to go deep

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pitching deep into games has been difficult for Colby Lewis in his comeback season.

The Texas Rangers' 34-year-old veteran showed improvement in his last outing, going a personal season-long 6.1 innings and holding Detroit to one run through six innings. He was charged with four runs in an 8-2 loss.

“If Colby can have some quick early innings, that is what will keep him in the game late,’’ said Rangers manager Ron Washington. “I’d like to see him get six or seven innings again.’’

Lewis, making his 14th start this afternoon against Minnesota, is 5-5 with a 5.94 ERA. He missed almost all of the last two seasons because of elbow and hip surgeries.

In a large part due to leaving games early, Lewis is yet to meet the standard (6.0 innings, three earned runs or fewer) for a quality start. The only other major league starter to go 13 starts without a quality start was Seattle’s Steve Trout in 1988. The previous Rangers’ high was 11 games by Steve Comer in 1980.

So far in the series, the Twins have yet to score against a Rangers starter. Nick Tepesch and Yu Darvish each worked eight scoreless innings so the bullpen is rested, should Lewis need it again on a warm afternoon.

Two statistical trends are working against Lewis.

  • He has a 1-4 record in eight starts at Globe Life Park this season, although his career record in Arlington is 23-20.

  • He has never beaten the Twins in six prior starts and his ERA against them is 8.48. But this is very much a different Twins team from the one he last faced in 2011. Joe Mauer is the only active Twin remaining from the starting lineup that day.

    Notes: The Rangers began the series with the major league’s longest active losing streak at eight games. Now it is Minnesota that is streaking the wrong way. The Twins have dropped five in a row. ... Today’s game is No. 81, marking the end of the first half of the 162-game season…Saturday’s 5-0 win over Minnesota raised the Rangers’ shutout total to 14. No other American League club has more than 10. The club record for a season is 19 in 2011.