Sunday, May 20, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Astros 1
By Calvin Watkins
HOUSTON -- The finale of Part I of the Silver Boot series goes to the Rangers, a 6-1 winner on Sunday afternoon over the Houston Astros.
Credit a five-run first inning and Colby Lewis with getting things done. Lewis ended a personal three-game losing streak with eight strong innings and was taken out after allowing a ninth-inning home run to Jed Lowrie to end the shutout and complete game bid.
Lewis with a solid effort: Right-hander Colby Lewis moved to 4-3 on the season with a wonderful pitching performance. He threw a season-high 123 pitches and allowed just one run on four hits through eight innings. It was Lewis' longest outing of the season. Lewis was given a five-run lead in the first inning and made it hold up. He retired 15 of 17 hitters in the middle innings and almost made everyone forget his personal three-game losing streak. The Rangers average 5.71 runs per game when he's on the mound and that trend continued Sunday.
First inning gets it started: Things got off fast for the Rangers against Astros starter Jordan Lyles. Josh Hamilton drove in the first run with a sac fly to center and then a pair of two-run singles from Nelson Cruz and Colby Lewis, yeah, Colby Lewis, pushed the lead to 5-0. Lewis, while excellent on the mound, was just as good at the plate, getting two hits, both singles and driving in two runs. It's the third time in interleague play a Ranger pitcher has produced a multi-RBI game. Darren Oliver was the first Ranger to do it, June 18, 1997 against Colorado and Lewis, who has now done it twice. Lewis first got it done on June 13, 2010 versus Milwaukee. Lewis has also produced the third two-hit game by a Rangers pitcher since the start of interleague play. Chan Ho Park and Lewis have done it.
Silver Boot stuff: While the Rangers took their first series since taking two-of-three from Los Angeles of Anaheim (May 11-13), the Silver Boot will remain in Arlington until the teams meet again June 15-17. The Rangers have won eight of the last 11 meetings between the teams and is 11-4 in the series since 2010. Houston hasn't won a series over Texas since June 24-26, 2008.
Notes: Ian Kinsler has struck out six times the last two games. Saturday night he struck out four times and twice on Sunday. Kinsler did, however, single to leadoff the game and eventually score. ... The 113,261 fans who attended the three-game set is the largest in the Silver Boot series since 2007. ... It didn't seem as if Nelson Cruz (tight quad) had any problems running around the bases. he ran hard with little problems after getting a seventh-inning single. Cruz went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. ... Elvis Andrus' two hits continued his team lead with 17 multi-hit games this season. Andrus has 12 games with at least two hits. ... Adrian Beltre caught a pop fly that maybe hit one of the support beams in the roof at Minute Maid Park. A popup by Brian Bogusevic in the first seemed to hit one of the support beams high above the third base dugout. After Beltre caught the ball he smiled and said something to Lewis, to maybe indicate something weird happened. Astros manager Brad Mills came out to ask the umpiring crew to talk about it, which they did but they ruled the ball was clean.
What's next?: Rangers start a three-game set at Seattle with a good matchup in Game 1. Yu Darvish takes on Felix Hernandez. It's the first opponent the Rangers meet in a series for the second time.