Lewis outdueled in 1st complete game of '15
SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis pitched his first complete game of the season on Sunday. It was just the second complete game of the season by a Texas pitcher and it came one day after an 11-inning game that taxed the bullpen.
But going the distance doesn't always lead to a win. Lewis had to go up against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and the Rangers ended up with a 4-2 loss at Safeco Field.
"I felt really good," Lewis said. "I thought I had pretty good stuff and was able to make good pitches but Felix went out and did his job."
An unearned run proved costly after the Rangers had taken a 2-0 lead off of Hernandez. But so did a two-run home run by Jesus Montero in the fourth and a solo shot by Nelson Cruz in the sixth.
Montero went deep on a hanging slider on an 0-1 pitch. The home run by Cruz leading off the sixth was on a fastball that Lewis thought was a good pitch.
"He was guessing and he guessed right," Lewis said. "He turned on it."
The unearned run came in the third inning. Mark Trumbo, leading off, hit a high pop in front of home plate. Catcher Bobby Wilson got under it but the ball popped out of his glove. Lewis retrieved the ball but didn't see Trumbo going for second until it was too late.
Often a third or a first baseman will call off the catcher on a high pop but manager Jeff Banister said that's not always the case. That is especially true with a big crowd making it tough to hear.
"He seemed to be under it," Banister said. "He was in the general area. ... If he calls it, he takes it. The rule of thumb is if he is directly in front of home plate with his back to the infield, it's a challenge to be called off. He was underneath it. The spin of the baseball made it tough but it's catchable."
Brad Miller bunted the runner to third and Lewis retired Mike Zunino on a shallow pop to right, holding Trumbo at third. But Ketel Marte lined a two-out single to right to drive home the run.
"I really wanted to keep that run from scoring but I didn't get the job done," Lewis said.
This was Lewis' eighth complete game for the Rangers since 2010 but he has now lost three of them. In all three cases, he pitched eight innings in a losing effort on the road.