Rangers 7, Brewers 2

Two strong seasons in Japan gave Colby Lewis another chance in

the major leagues.

Lewis won two strikeout titles in the Central League during his

time overseas, and all the hitting he did turned out to be a big

bonus for the rejuvenated right-hander.

Lewis scattered three hits over eight innings and added a key

two-out single with the bases loaded to lead the Texas Rangers to a

7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

“The last two years, I was able to swing the bat kind of like a

National Leaguer over there in Japan,” said Lewis, who spent the

previous two seasons with the Hiroshima Carp before signing in the

offseason with Texas. “I feel like it was a little bit of an

advantage just to see a lot of pitches the last two years, just

getting at-bats in Japan.”

Josh Hamilton homered for the AL West-leading Rangers, who won

their fifth in six games and handed Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo

(6-3) his first loss since April 10.

“On any given day, anybody can get beat,” Rangers manager Ron

Washington said. “Today was his day.”

Gallardo trailed 2-1 when he intentionally walked Andres Blanco

in the sixth to get to Lewis, who snapped a 25 at-bat hitless

streak for Rangers pitchers with the first hit of his career past

outstretched third baseman Casey McGehee.

“I’ve seen him bat before that, he’d put some good swings on

it. I was praying he would get a hit,” Hamilton said.

Lewis (6-4) finished with two, but was just as good on the mound

with a career high-tying 10 strikeouts and one walk. His only

mistakes came against Prince Fielder, who hit two solo homers for

Milwaukee.

Hamilton has homered in four of the last five games to give him

15 this season. His 10-game hitting streak matches his career best

and he leads the majors in RBIs in June with 19.

“He’s swinging the bat as well as I’ve seen him swing it,”

Washington said.

The Rangers slugger drew oohs, then boos from the crowd in the

fourth. Hamilton swung and missed on a breaking ball, flinging the

bat out his hands as it sailed more than 100 feet away and six rows

deep, clanging off an empty seat.

“That’s just normal me,” Hamilton said. “For some reason, I

just throw it away. It’s amazing. That’s my favorite bat. It’s

always my favorite bat, too.”

Three pitches later with a new bat in his hands, he crushed

Gallardo’s offspeed offering to right field for a two-run shot to

give Texas a 2-1 lead.

In the sixth, Vladimir Guerrero extended his hitting streak to

11 games with a leadoff single before Hamilton doubled. After two

strikeouts, Blanco, hitting .204, was walked intentionally to bring

up Lewis.

Lewis followed with a gritty eight-pitch at-bat. He fouled away

several fastballs and hit another offering off his foot before

taking Gallardo’s low curveball down the left-field line to give

Texas a 4-1 lead.

“I was kind of surprised he was able to keep it fair,” said

Gallardo, who struck out 10 but had his winning streak snapped at

six. “I was pretty upset. I walked the guy in front to pitch to

the pitcher and with two strikes he just fouled them off. He does

have a bat in his hands so anything is possible.”

Hamilton’s run-scoring groundout in the seventh and Julio

Borbon’s two-out, two-run double in the eighth off the Brewers

bullpen made it 7-2.

Fielder had been slumping at the plate recently, but looked more

comfortable after finishing Saturday night’s 4-3 loss 0 for 5,

including the final out with the tying run at third.

The first baseman’s second home run of the game, a towering shot

in the sixth, bounced high off the batter’s eye to give him 12 this

season and cut Texas’ lead to 4-2, but Milwaukee could get no

closer. Fielder, who has played in 248 straight games, insists he’s

comfortable at the plate.

“It’s the same. You just go out there and try to feel good

before the game and after that let it fly,” he said. “It’s not

easy, but I’m not going to take a day off so I’ve got to get ready

for the next day.”

NOTES: The Brewers are an NL-worst 11-19 at home. … Borbon

also has an 11-game hitting streak. … Rangers 3B Michael Young

doubled in the fourth and is one hit away from tying Ivan

Rodriguez’s franchise mark at 1,747. … Rangers 1B Justin Smoak

went 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, the first time a Rangers player

has done that in a nine-inning game. … Brewers LHP Doug Davis

(inflammation of heart membrane) and Brewers RHP Todd Coffey (right

thumb) are expected to go on rehab assignments this week.