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Rangers run into more trouble against Rockies

Lewis latest starter to get bashed by Colorado, allowing seven runs

ARLINGTON -- Colby Lewis has a simple antidote for what is ailing the Rangers starting rotation.

"Colorado needs to leave town," Lewis said.

Lewis also had a simple explanation of what happened to him on Wednesday night.

"I got beat," Lewis said. "No excuses."

He was the third straight Rangers starting pitcher to have that happen to him against the Rockies. Lewis allowed seven runs on 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings and the Rockies took their third straight over the Rangers with a 9-2 victory.

Rangers pitchers have allowed 29 runs in 25 innings against the Rockies, along with 50 hits -- two per inning -- and seven home runs. The Rockies are hitting .427 off Rangers pitching in the three games.

"We're struggling a little bit and we've run into a red-hot team," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Everything Colby threw up in the strike zone, they hit and they hit hard. They are swinging the bats well.

"We just haven't been able to make pitches, that's what it comes down to. Execute some pitches. I don't know the last time we turned a double play. Get the ball down in the zone and make things happen. Do that and everything else will fall into place."

The Rangers are hardly the only team that has been pulverized by the Rockies lately. Since Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, the Rockies have won 16 of their last 22 games. During that stretch they are hitting .318 and averaging 6.4 runs per game.

This is what the Rangers used to look like when they were a legitimate American League offensive powerhouse.

"Everything they are hitting is finding a hole or a gap," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It's tough to play a team like that."

Rangers hitters are batting .229 and have scored five runs in the three games. Adrian Beltre has driven in three of the runs with a pair of home runs. The Rangers have one hit in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"We're a really good team, too," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "We've been feeling it since they showed up in Denver. We get a lot of hits, a lot of runs. Our pitchers are holding them. They have a really good offense, too, but they haven't done anything the whole series. Everything is going well for us now. It's always fun to play that way."

The two teams play the final of their four-game home-and-home series on Thursday night with Matt Harrison on the mound for the Rangers and trying to cool off the Rockies hitters. Through three games, the Rockies are 31-for-67 off the three Rangers starters. Lewis, Martin Perez and Robbie Ross combined to allow 18 runs in 14 innings. That's an 11.57 ERA just among the starters.

Lewis started the night by retiring the first two hitters but then Troy Tulowitzki singled, Gonzalez doubled and Nolan Arenado, extending his hitting streak to 27 games, put the Rockies ahead with a two-run double. Lewis allowed a pair of two-out singles in the second and third inning and was able to escape damage. In the fourth, Lewis got in trouble from the beginning and couldn't finish the inning.

"I fell behind some guys in the first inning, that's my fault," Lewis said. "After that, they were attacking early in the count and barreling the ball. I was trying to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters and couldn't do it. They were attacking early in the count. They did a good job of putting the ball in play. I got beat. No excuses."

Drew Stubbs led off the fourth with a single, stole second and went to third on catcher Robinson Chirinos' throwing error. Stubbs scored on a single by Michael McKenry. Singles by DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon added another run while leaving runners at the corners. After Blackmon stole second, sacrifice flies by Corey Dickerson and Tulowitzki gave the Rockies a 6-0 lead. Lewis' night came to an end after a home run by Gonzalez.

"I've never seen anything like it," Stubbs said. "There's no telling how long it's going to last, but it's one of those deals where you try to ride it out as long as you can. The pitchers are throwing the ball well and we're just banging the ball around top to bottom in the lineup. It's pretty special to be part of something like this."

Beltre's two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth made it 7-2. But the Rockies scored two off reliever Scott Baker in the top of the fifth to make it a seven-run game. Baker, called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day, was able to follow that up with four scoreless innings and keep the Rangers from using any more relievers.

"He did a tremendous job," Washington said. "He came in and gave us a chance. We just weren't able to get anything going offensively."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
Read More: Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre, Colby Lewis