Rangers Ride Colby Lewis To 5-1 Win Over Astros

Colby Lewis pitched a complete game two hitter, walking none, striking out nine en route to his first career complete game in a 5-1 win over the Astros. Justin Smoak went 3-4 with his eighth home run of the year and added three RBI.

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SB Nation Recap

Sports Network | June 19, 2010

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Colby Lewis hurled his first career complete game and Justin Smoak added a two-run home run and three RBI as Texas topped Houston, 5-1, in the second of three in this interleague series from Minute Maid Park.

Michael Young added a solo homer for the Rangers, who won their season-best seventh straight game - all on the road -- during this nine-game swing. It’s a record for a franchise which came to the majors as the Washington Senators in 1961.

Lewis (7-4) won for the third straight time by allowing just a pair of hits and one run, with nine strikeouts.

Michael Bourn doubled and scored the lone run for the Astros, who slid to their seventh loss in eight tries.

Brian Moehler (0-4) was saddled with the loss despite allowing Smoak’s two-run homer in the second inning. The right-hander did walk four and struck out three.

Texas got on the board in the second as David Murphy walked with one out and came home on a two-run homer from Smoak.

Lewis retired the first 13 batters he faced until a one-out hit by Hunter Pence in the fifth. He was quickly erased on a double-play grounder from Pedro Feliz.

Houston wasn’t able to crack the scoreboard until the seventh, when Bourn hit a leadoff double, advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The Rangers tacked on two more in the eighth. Josh Hamilton singled with two down and Murphy walked before Smoak’s base hit with runners on first and second brought in a run. Vladimir Guerrero’s pinch-hit single followed and scored Murphy for a 4-1 game.

Young’s solo shot in the ninth gave Texas a four-run bulge and Lewis closed out the game by sending down nine in a row after Bourn’s double.

Texas has owned the interleague set between the clubs, winning seven of eight since the start of last season and 14 of the last 20 matchups…Lewis had previously pitched nine innings once this season, on April 30 at Seattle, a game which Texas won 2-0 in the 12th inning…Moehler hasn’t won since August 22, 2009 against Arizona.

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Follow Live As Rangers Try To Make It Seven In A Row

To follow tonight’s game live and see if the Rangers can be one step closer to the Silver Boot, head over to Lone Star Ball and join the conversation.

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Tommy Hunter Throws Pain Free Bullpen

Tommy Hunter, who came out after just two and a third innings due to hip flexor discomfort, threw a 45 pitch bullpen session and reported no problems with the injury according to Anthony Andro.

Given how often the Rangers have been forced to go to the bullpen early recently, this could be excellent news for the Rangers if Hunter can make his next start and pitch deep into the game as opposed to another bullpen game.

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Texas Looks To Extend Winning Streak To Seven

 

(Sports Network) - The red-hot Texas Rangers will take on the Houston Astros tonight in the second meeting of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The Rangers, who currently own a 2 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL West Division, have won six consecutive games and will send Colby Lewis to the hill today in hopes of keeping the team on track.

After going winless in six of his previous seven starts, Lewis takes the hill riding a two-game winning streak. The last time Lewis was in action, the right-hander led the Rangers to a 7-2 victory over Milwaukee.

In the win over the Brewers, Lewis tossed eight strong innings, allowing just two runs, while striking out 10 batters. It was just the second road win on the year for Lewis, who has a mediocre 3.68 earned run average in eight games as the visitor.

Lewis has made three career appearances against Houston, but this will be his first-ever start against the Astros. In just 4 1/3 innings of work against the Astros, the crafty twirler has not allowed a run and has struck out three batters.

As for the Astros, they will turn to Brian Moehler, who has spent time in the bullpen as well as the starting rotation. It has not been a smooth season for the veteran pitcher, as Moehler comes into this matchup with an 0-3 ledger and an equally poor 6.32 earned run average.

The last time the righty was on the hill, he did not last past the fifth inning in a loss to the Yankees. Moehler surrendered four runs on four hits and five walks in just 4 2/3 innings of action.

If the veteran is going to get his first win of the season, he will have to do so against a Texas squad that he has struggled against in his career. Moehler is 6-5 against the Rangers, but possesses a dismal ERA of 5.05 against them.

On Friday, Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer and drove in a total of four runs, as the Rangers handled the Astros, 9-3.

Josh Hamilton had three hits, knocked in two runs, and scored twice for the Rangers, who have won six in a row for the first time since a seven-game run from May 10-17 of last year. Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the process.

Scott Feldman (5-6) gave up three runs on nine hits in a seven-inning start. He also fanned six batters and walked one to pick up the win.

Geoff Blum, Hunter Pence, and Jason Michaels had an RBI apiece for the Astros, who have dropped two straight and six of seven overall.

Wandy Rodriguez (3-10) lasted just three innings, allowing six runs on four hits with four walks to take the loss, his third straight.

The Rangers claimed the Silver Boot, awarded to the winner of this six-game season series, last year by taking five of six from the Astros. That included a three-game sweep in Houston in which Texas outscored its in-state opponent 17-8.


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