CHICAGO (AP) – It was a long, boring night in the Texas Rangers’ bullpen.
That’s just how it goes right now when Colby Lewis gets the start.
Lewis pitched a five-hitter for his first career shutout and the Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 4-0 on Monday night.
“When he’s got that type of slider and he can spot his fastball the way he did tonight, he’s tough,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Endy Chavez added three hits and scored twice for the Rangers, who have won four of their last five. Chavez was hitless in nine at-bats since he was promoted from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.
Lewis (4-4) struck out seven and walked one in his third career complete game. It was also the fourth consecutive start of at least 7 1-3 innings for the 6-foot-4 right-hander, who improved to 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA during the impressive stretch.
“That’s what you have to do as a starter, I think, just going out there and helping your teammates out as much as you can,” Lewis said.
A.J. Pierzynski singled with one out in the fifth for Chicago’s first hit off Lewis, who struggled in three previous starts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Now, it’s the White Sox who are struggling at their longtime home.
Edwin Jackson (3-5) was hit hard before departing with one out in the sixth inning as Chicago kicked off a seven-game homestand with its 10th loss in its last 11 home games. The White Sox went 1-5 during their last stretch in Chicago, which included Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins.
“That was a rough one out there tonight,” first baseman Paul Konerko said. “We got off on the wrong foot right from the get-go.”
Texas put at least one runner on in each of the first seven innings and finished with 12 hits to improve to 7-10 on the road.
Michael Young doubled in Chavez and scored on Adrian Beltre’s single to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Texas loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Jackson wiggled out of the jam to keep the White Sox in the game.
There was no such escape in the sixth, when Ian Kinsler chased Jackson with a two-run single to center.
“You know when you’re facing Jackson it’s going to be a grind,” Young said. “To get Colby a couple runs, let him do the rest, was the story of the game.”
The four-run lead was more than enough for Lewis, who entered with three losses and an 11.15 ERA in three career games in Chicago. Alexei Ramirez hit a leadoff double in the ninth, but Lewis retired the next three batters to close out his second complete game of the season.
“We’d been swinging the bats pretty good the last couple of weeks and today we got shut down,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Pierzynski went 2 for 3, and Omar Vizquel and Juan Pierre had the other hits for Chicago.
Jackson gave up 11 hits, walked three and uncorked two wild pitches. He allowed just one run in 15 innings over his previous two starts.
“Today was just one of those games,” Jackson said. “It was a battle. You don’t necessarily have your best stuff, but you continue to come at them and try to keep the game close.”
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