'Just another day' for nearly perfect Lewis
ARLINGTON -- When Colby Lewis finally allowed a hitter to reach base on Friday night after recording 21 consecutive outs to start the game, the stoic veteran didn't seem all that fazed that he had just seen his perfect game evaporate with six outs to go.
After Danny Valencia doubled to left to break up his bid, Lewis calmly went back to work and got the remaining outs for a two-hit shutout and 4-0 victory in the first game of the three-game series.
Lewis, in his typically self-deprecating way, said he didn't let himself get too carried away by visions of throwing the 24th perfect game in Major League history.
"I guess on any given night ... but I don't look at myself as having no-hitter or perfect-game stuff," Lewis said. "I don't throw 97 [mph] and have devastating stuff, so it was just another day.
"I'm not supposed to do what I did tonight. It's a plus when I do, and I'm real happy about it. Another feather in the cap, and then you move on."
Lewis set a career high on Friday with his 15th win, but he has never been more in control in a start this season than he was against the A's.
After pitching seven perfect innings and surrendering the leadoff double in the eighth to Valencia, Lewis got three quick outs, including two strikeouts, the last on a curveball that caught Max Muncy looking. He allowed a leadoff single to Josh Phegley to start the ninth but retired the next three hitters.
"Overall I felt like all my pitches were working pretty well," he said. "In any situation like that, when you have all your pitches working, you know you're going to have a good chance to be productive and get a lot of outs."
Until Friday, Lewis' longest outing of the season was an eight-inning, one-run win at Houston in early May. He has generally been reliable in getting his team into the seventh or eighth inning most times, but he did not make it out of the sixth in any of his three starts prior to Friday.
"I keep hearing that, 'three rough starts,'" manager Jeff Banister said. "I'm not so sure that they were rough, a couple pitches here and there in those last couple starts that really got away from him. I still felt like he had good stuff. It comes down to location and execution, and he was on top of all that tonight."
Though Lewis didn't react much when he lost the perfect game, he was most certainly aware of how close he had gotten. He wasn't totally shunned in the dugout by his teammates, as is the custom when a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, but he knew the stakes anyway.
"When you go through the lineup the first time and you haven't given up a hit, you start to think about it," he said. "Anybody that would tell you that they don't think about it -- they think about it."