Thursday, May 10, 2012
Colby Lewis makes history in loss
By Richard Durrett
BALTIMORE -- Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis took peaks and valleys to a new extreme in Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Lewis gave up five hits -- all home runs -- yet he also had a career-high 12 strikeouts. That made him the first pitcher since 1918 to give up five home runs and have at least 10 strikeouts in the same game.
"It was a freakin' weird game," Lewis said. "I don't know how to justify that game."
Lewis gave up home runs to the first three batters, falling behind 3-0 after just eight pitches as Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis all hit home runs. It was the first time in American League history that a team started a game with three straight homers (fourth time overall).
Lewis then retired the next 18 batters -- 11 of them on strikeouts. It was an impressive run and unlikely, given his start.
But in the seventh, he lost his form and gave up two more home runs -- a solo shot to Adam Jones and a two-run homer to Wilson Betemit, allowing six runs in seven innings.
"It seemed like one of those days where you have really good stuff and if you miss your spot and it's not just a hit, it's a homer," Lewis said. "It was weird. You can't really look at it any other way. It was a weird game."
Lewis, now second in the AL in homers allowed with 11 on the year, said he felt he threw good pitches on three of the homers. He threw a slider to Markakis in the first, who hit it off the foul pole in right. And he threw a 2-0 fastball too high to Hardy, who was looking for a fastball on that count.
"He kept us in the game," manager Ron Washington said. "He settled down and made some adjustments. It was just two innings. It just so happened it was the first and the seventh."
Lewis was still shaking his head after the game. He said he felt great, had good stuff and thought he had the energy to even pitch longer. He said the three straight homers in the first didn't rattle him.
"I'm not worried about it," Lewis said. "Somebody's going to get out. The best hitters get out seven out of 10 times. Eventually, something is going to happen."