ARLINGTON (AP) – When Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington popped out of the dugout toward the mound to take Colby Lewis out of the game Monday night, there was applause.
It was far from the kind of ovation Lewis was getting last October when he was a postseason ace for the defending American League champions.
The mock response came after Lewis’ worst outing of the season. The right-hander gave up four home runs and nine runs in only 3 1-3 innings against the Detroit Tigers in a 13-7 loss that ended the Rangers’ five-game winning streak in which they had three shutouts.
“Yeah, I didn’t throw the ball well, didn’t do the things I needed to do,” Lewis said. “And it didn’t turn out well.”
Lewis’ horrendous outing came only five days after the right-hander pitched eight scoreless innings at Tampa Bay, and a stretch where he had gone 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA over seven starts.
Things started bad against the Tigers and only got worse.
After giving up a single to Austin Jackson to start the game, Don Kelly drew a walk and Brennan Boesch hit the first of his two home runs. The Tigers led for good and won for seventh time in their last eight games.
Boesch, who set career highs with five hits and five RBIs, led off the third with his second homer, and the first of three balls the Tigers hit over the wall in the inning. Andy Dirks hit a two-run homer and Alex Avila had a solo shot that made it 7-0.
Lewis was gone after Miguel Cabrera’s RBI double in the fourth that was Detroit’s third consecutive one-out hit and made it 8-2. Victor Martinez greeted reliever Michael Kirkman with a sacrifice fly when Endy Chavez made a running catch in the right-center gap to likely prevent more runs.
“Actually not that bad of a pitch the second homer to Boesh. Apparently he was cheating heater in. So I don’t know, whatever,” Lewis said. “Just one of those days, you don’t really worry about it. I’ve been throwing the ball good, not even going to sweat about it”
Tigers starter Max Scherzer (7-2) pitched five innings for his first win since May 9 at Toronto, when the big right-hander won his sixth consecutive decision to open the season. He gave up five runs and eight hits.
The AL West-leading Rangers (34-27), coming off consecutive shutouts that wrapped up a four-game sweep at AL Central-leading Cleveland, are home for their only three games at Rangers Ballpark in a 20-game stretch.
Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 10 games for Texas with a pair of two-run homers, giving him 14 for the season. His homer in the fourth inning got Texas within 9-4, and he went deep again in the eighth — a 459-foot blast to left-center, the fourth-longest ever at Rangers Ballpark — for his seventh career multihomer game.
Rangers leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler snapped an 0-for-20 slide with an RBI triple in the third, then added a run-scoring double in the fourth.
“We know what Colby is capable of and at any point he can turn it around and give us a bunch of zeroes on the board,” Kinsler said. “Offensively as long as we stay in there and battle, we’ve got a good opportunity. Tonight, it just didn’t happen.”
After returning to the Rangers from Japan last season, Lewis was 12-13 with a 3.72 ERA in 32 regular-season starts. Then in the postseason, he went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his four starts — all at home, including the AL pennant-clinching win over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS and their lone World Series win in Game 3 against San Francisco.
While playing second base in the ninth, Kinsler collided with Ryan Raburn while trying to field a grounder. Umpire Ed Rapuano immediately signaled that Raburn was safe after Kinsler ran into the baserunner. Jackson was credited with a single on the play, his third hit of the game.
“Probably my fault,” Kinsler said. “The ball passed him, and I had the opportunity to get the ball before he hit me. It was the right call.”
Notes: The only other time Lewis gave up four homers in a game was in 4 1-3 innings at the New York Yankees on Aug. 5, 2003. He gave up nine runs in 3 2-3 innings at Minnesota last September, but his career-worst was 10 runs in 3 1-3 innings at Minnesota four years ago. … Boesch hit only .196 with seven extra-base hits his previous 28 games. … Kirkman, who gave up two runs in 3 1-3 innings, had his glove knocked off his hand by Martinez’s comebacker in the sixth. Kirkman scrambled without his glove to pick up the ball behind the mound and complete the out. … Sitting in the owners box near the Rangers dugout were former president George W. Bush and Pulitzer Prize winner George Will.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)