Lewis finally gets first win against Twins

Lewis finally gets first win against Twins

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis has finally beaten the Minnesota Twins. He accomplished that by retiring the last 15 batters he faced in the Rangers' 11-7 victory on Saturday afternoon.

The first six in that run were the most crucial. Despite leaving with an eight-run lead, the game was still in the balance when Lewis started that stretch in the third inning. Lewis' ability to hold the line after the Twins had gone ahead 3-1 was just as huge for the Rangers as their offense roaring to life against opposing starter Mike Pelfrey.

"Huge swing for us," manager Jeff Banister said. "Colby was pounding the strike zone, getting ahead early and getting their hitters into a swing mode. He made his pitches where he wanted to and let his defense get him out."

Lewis left with an 11-3 lead and the Twins scored four in the ninth off Anthony Bass. But Rangers starters are 7-2 with a 2.29 ERA in their last 14 games.

"I think our rotation is doing a really good job keeping us in ballgames," Lewis said. "That's all you want to do as a starter and that's always been my expectation is to keep us in the ballgame. For us to do what we have been doing, we feed off each other. It's an enjoyable atmosphere."

The Rangers led 1-0 going into the third but the Twins scored three before Lewis got anybody out. Shane Robinson reached on an infield single off Lewis' glove, Brian Dozier walked, Eddie Rosario hit a two-run double and Joe Mauer doubled home a run.

That left the Twins with a runner at second with nobody out. But Lewis struck out Trevor Plouffe, Kennys Vargas and Eduardo Nunez to end the inning.

"To me it was all about damage control there, limiting the damage and keeping it close," Lewis said.

The Rangers then tied the score in the bottom of the third. Lewis responded by retiring the side in order in the fourth on just seven pitches. Chris Herrmann flied out on the first pitch and then Lewis needed just three pitches each to get Eduardo Escobar and Shane Robinson to ground out.

Lewis' reward for that quick inning came in the bottom of the inning when back-to-back home runs by Mitch Moreland and Joey Gallo finished off a six-run rally.

"My M.O. has always been to throw strikes and get quick outs," Lewis said. "Here as you move forward into the summer in Texas, you want to get the opposing pitcher back out into the heat. You want to get your offense back up there and scoring runs for me."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.