Two close: Lewis again denied history by A's

Having lost perfect game in 8th vs. Oakland in September, Texas starter suffers similar fate, then loses no-no in 9th

Two close: Lewis again denied history by A's

OAKLAND -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis couldn't hide his disappointment afterward, and neither could his teammates.

The Rangers were feeling good after a 5-1 victory over the Athletics on Thursday, and Lewis' complete game was a huge boost to their weary bullpen. But everybody wanted the perfect game, or at least the no-hitter -- especially Lewis.

"I feel if you go into the ninth inning and you haven't given up a hit, and it doesn't happen, it's disappointing," Lewis said. "I'm not getting any younger."

Lewis flirts with no-no

Lewis got within four outs of a perfect game and three outs of what would have been the sixth no-hitter in club history. The last one was Kenny Rogers' perfect game on July 27, 1994.

"It's disappointing to get that deep in a game and not get it," catcher Bobby Wilson said. "It doesn't happen very often. I feel bad for Colby. We won the game, and he pitched a complete game. But as hard as he has worked, if anybody deserves it, it's Colby. We all wanted it for him real badly."

Must C: Lewis loses no-hit bid

Lewis had a similar two-hit complete game, this one a shutout, against the Athletics on Sept. 11, 2015. In that game, he retired the first 21 batters until Danny Valencia led off the eighth inning with a double.

Lewis flirts with perfection

"Numbers-wise, probably a little better than we normally see out of him," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "He always pitches well against us. Great command of his fastball, really good slider, more of a mix to lefties with a curveball and changeup. When he's dotting the corner and able to throw a slider for a strike and slider off the plate when needs to for chase, it's tough to handle."

Both Lewis and Wilson could sense the possibility after he set down the side in order in the first three innings.

So close
Lewis is the 5th Rangers starter to pitch at least 8 no-hit innings and lose a no-hitter
Innings Pitcher Date/Opp
8 2/3 Yu Darvish April 2, 2013 at Houston (Marwin Gonzalez 1B)
8 1/3 Charlie Hough June 16, 1986 at California (Wally Joyner 1B)
8 1/3 Nolan Ryan April 23, 1989 at Toronto (Nelson Liriano 3B)
8 1/3 Nolan Ryan Aug. 10, 1989 vs. Detroit (Dave Bergman 1B)
8 Colby Lewis June 16, 2016 at Oakland (Max Muncy 2B)

"You know about it once you go through a lineup once and don't give up a hit," Lewis said. "I was thinking about it in the fourth, fifth, sixth innings. Anybody says they are not thinking about it, they are lying. I'm trying to make good pitches, but you don't want to give up the hit."

Wilson caught Ervin Santana's no-hitter with the Angels and was hoping for a second one.

"About the fourth inning, I thought this could be a special day," Wilson said. "They just weren't putting good swings on him. He had the curveball and the slider, but he had a really good sinker."

Manager Jeff Banister said the energy level in the Rangers' dugout kicked in around the fifth inning.

"Everybody knew what was at stake," Banister said. "They were really into it."

Lewis retired the first 23 batters he faced, but then walked Yonder Alonso with two outs in the eighth.

Alonso's walk ends perfect game

"Two sinkers down and away that didn't track for strikes," Lewis said. "Then a four-seamer [fastball] that could have gone either way. [Home-plate umpire Toby Basner] did a great job today ... and then ball four, fastball, trying to throw a strike."

He still had the no-hitter intact, and left fielder Ryan Rua made the defensive play of the day, racing back and jumping to snap Marcus Semien's long drive to end the inning.

Lewis gets no-no through eight

But the no-hit bid ended when Max Muncy led off the ninth with a long drive to deep right that outfielder Nomar Mazara couldn't hold onto as he crashed into the wall. It was ruled a double. Muncy scored on a one-out double by Coco Crisp as Rua just missed making a tremendous diving catch.

"Everybody on the team was rooting for him," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "It couldn't happen to a better guy. Heart-breaking. At least we got the win, but we wanted more."

This is the fifth time in club history that a pitcher has lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning. The last was Yu Darvish on April 2, 2013, when he retired 26 straight batters against the Astros. It happened twice to Nolan Ryan in 1989 and once to Charlie Hough in 1986.

"I think where Colby is in his career and the number of times he has been close, he's disappointed," Banister said. "But he knows it was still a tremendous team win."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. 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.