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Lewis confident he's ready to return to Rangers

Righty awaits word after throwing five innings, 86 pitches in latest rehab start

FRISCO, Texas -- Colby Lewis feels he's ready to be activated by the Rangers after making his seventh rehab start on Saturday.

The decision now rests in the club's hands after the right-hander pitched five innings for Double-A Frisco, allowing two runs on six hits. He threw 59 of his 86 pitches for strikes, collecting three punchouts, all swinging, and one walk against Double-A San Antonio.

"It's up to them," Lewis said. "A couple weeks ago, I felt like I could've slid right in, but I feel like now we got five guys [in the rotation] that are kind of locking it down. They've got a decision to make, so we'll see what happens."

Lewis' fastball averaged around 88 mph, which was his average last season before he tore his flexor tendon in his right elbow last July and missed the remainder of the season. Lewis has had two setbacks dealing with triceps tendinitis and muscular soreness since the injury.

The right-hander allowed a solo shot to center field to the second batter he faced on an 88-mph fastball. Lewis hit 90 mph three times in his outing, twice on the at-bat following the home run and picked up his second strikeout in the inning on an 83-mph slider.

"I felt like my misses were all in the same area," Lewis said of his fastball. "I felt like when I did miss, it was in the location where I wanted it to be. Other than that, I felt like I commanded the ball pretty good, threw some good changeups. My curveball was hit and miss, but usually if you have three out of the four, it's going to be a pretty decent day."

Lewis threw 24 pitches in the third, working around a one-out triple to the second batter. He forced the next two batters to ground out in the infield, mixing in more offspeed pitches.

"You try to attack them with fastballs, and they just jump all over it," Lewis said. "With runners in scoring position, I tried to start guys off soft and keep them from hunting that fastball."

Lewis allowed his second run in the fifth allowing a one-out double and single in consecutive at-bats on three pitches. He then issued a seven-pitch walk, but ended his outing on a popout and flyout.

In his third rehab stint, Lewis has a 7.10 ERA in his last four starts. He's allowed five runs in 10 innings during his last two outings.

"Overall I felt like my stamina definitely gets better every time I go out," Lewis said. "Eighty-six pitches, I feel like I definitely could've gone out for another one. Overall, it felt like another good outing."

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for
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