ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rangers turned back the clock to 2010 in their 3-2 win Wednesday. The game featured a sellout crowd, a tight contest against the Yankees and a fully healthy Colby Lewis.
Lewis looked like his pre-injury self with seven strong innings. He allowed just two runs on four hits and never looked fatigued despite throwing 106 pitches.
Lewis admitted that the sellout crowd of 46,599 – generated by Derek Jeter’s final game in Arlington – gave him some flashbacks.
"I was warming up and I was kind of looking around and I was like, man, it’s a packed house," Lewis said. "It was kind of reminiscent of 2010 and it was nice. It was nice to see all the fans here."
Lewis rewarded the fans â those not wearing pinstripes and Jeter T-shirts, anyway â with a performance like he gave during those 2010 and 2011 runs to the World Series. The only runs he allowed were a leadoff homer to Brett Gardner and another third-inning solo shot to Jacoby Ellsbury.
"I just think I’ve gotten stronger as the weeks have rolled along," said Lewis, who improved to 7-8. "I think there was definitely an adjustment period trying to get used to a prosthetic hip. I didn’t really think it was going to be an adjustment, but it turned out that way."
Lewis retired the last 13 batters he faced and made the Rangers’ three-run first inning stand up for the win. The seven-inning stint was his longest of the season and came after losing his last three starts.
"I feel great," Lewis said. "I feel like I’m kind of back to 2010, 2011. I don’t have any pain, that’s the key. It’s no distraction, that’s for sure."
The Rangers weren’t distracted by the Jeter hoopla, which included a pregame ceremony featuring a visit from President George W. Bush, to take two out of three from the Yankees. It was the Rangers’ first series win since June 27-29 against Minnesota (also 2-of-3).
The only negative for the Rangers was the fifth-inning departure of right fielder Alex Rios, who was hit by a pitch on the side of the knee a couple of innings earlier. Rios is a much-rumored trade deadline target, although the injury doesn’t appear serious.
Oddly, it was also the first time the Rangers won a game that wasn’t the first game of a series since July 5 at the Mets.
"It’s huge," manager Ron Washington said of the series win. "I think we’ve been playing good baseball. Sometimes things just don’t fall in your favor."
Things fell for Rangers in the first inning when RBIs Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Leonys Martin led to a 3-1 lead. After that, Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-7) kept the Rangers in check for six more innings.
With Neal Cotts tossing a perfect eighth in relief of Lewis, followed by Neftali Feliz earning his third save, three runs were enough.
A couple of spectacular, wall-crashing catches by left fielder Jim Adduci helped, too. Adduci leaped and reached into the stands along the left field line to make a second-inning catch, bouncing off the wall unscathed.