Rangers can't get Lewis off hook against Halos

Right-hander fires seven solid frames; Beltre hits 18th home run

Rangers can't get Lewis off hook against Halos

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis did a superb job of holding down an Angels offense that had scored 41 runs in the previous four games.

But Kole Calhoun had already hit a home run off him, so when Collin Cowgill led off the eighth inning with an infield single in a one-run game, manager Tim Bogar decided to make a pitching change, hoping to keep it close.

But that didn't turn out to be the case. Instead the Angels erupted for seven runs in the eighth en route to a 9-3 victory on Tuesday's Harvest Moon Night.

"No, that was all me," Bogar said. "I told him, 'I know you're not very happy with me right now, but I'm going to get the lefty in and have him face Calhoun.' I'm sure as he walked off, he didn't want to. But there was no discussion about it."

Lewis was charged with three runs in seven-plus innings, but he still was tagged with a loss that left him 9-13 with a 5.29 ERA on the season.

"I just want to pitch deep in the game and come out with a win for the team," Lewis said, "It's unfortunate, but it is what it is."

Lewis allowed five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. He is 3-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break, while holding opponents to a .247 batting average. Lewis, who missed 18 months because of flexor tendon and hip replacement surgery, was 6-6 with a 6.54 ERA in 16 starts in the first half with opponents hitting .353 off him.

"I think it's me getting stronger and getting back to where I was," Lewis said. "The adaption part is over. It's all about adapting to the body and finding a way to get it done. That's all I've ever done. The adaption period is over so it's about going out there and performing, and giving the team a chance to win."

The biggest beating to Lewis' ERA was giving up 13 runs (11 earned) in 2 1/3 innings to the Angels on July 10. But in his last two starts against them, Lewis has allowed seven earned runs in 13 innings against the American League leaders in runs scored.

"Colby can compete against any lineup for me," Bogar said. "He's shown that. This is a pretty potent offense we're facing tonight and the next two days, and he seemed to handle them pretty well. So I'm pretty confident in Colby going out there and handling any lineup they throw against us."

"He pitched us tough -- kept us off-balance, got a lot of ground balls," Cowgill said. "I think the last couple times we started slow against him, so he pitches us tough. It's always a battle against him. He throws strikes, keeps it in the zone. Every time we face him it's a battle."

Calhoun gave the Angels a lead right away by hitting an 0-2 fastball over the right-field fence for a leadoff home run in the first inning. The Angels added an unearned run in the fourth after right fielder Michael Choice couldn't handle David Freese's deep fly ball. It went for a two-base error and Freese later scored on a sacrifice fly.

"You'd expect a player to make that catch," Bogar said. "I know Michael probably thinks he should have. It was in the middle of his glove and it came out, so I think that's a play that probably should have been made."

Beltre made it a one-run game in the fourth with his 18th home run of the season. It was also his first since Aug. 10. If Beltre needs that long to hit another one, this will be the first time since 1980 that at least one Rangers player did not hit 20 or more home runs in a full season.

The game stayed a one-run affair until the Angels broke it open in the eighth.

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