SEATTLE (AP) — Colby Lewis’ performance Thursday was nearly as good as C.J. Wilson a night earlier and set a little Texas Rangers history along the way.
Only this time the Rangers wasted the strong outing, capping a frustrating 2-5 road trip.
Lewis struck out a career-high 11 in his second complete game, but Justin Smoak’s homer and Jason Vargas’ pitching pushed the Seattle Mariners to a 3-1 win over the Rangers.
Lewis and Wilson, who struck out 12 in Texas’ 5-2 victory Wednesday night, became the first Rangers pitchers to throw consecutive complete games since Rick Helling and Doug Davis in October 2001. Jose Guzman and Nolan Ryan were the last Texas duo to post consecutive games with 10 or more strikeouts, accomplishing the feat against the New York Yankees in 1992.
While it’s great notes for the Rangers record book, it didn’t mean much to manager Ron Washington after Texas failed to come up with key hits again.
“We had the right people at the plate many times on this road trip and just didn’t produce,” Washington said. “You can dissect that all you want, but it comes down to Vargas tonight. We could have had any approach we wanted tonight, but he was hitting dots out there and doing exactly what he wanted.”
Vargas (2-2) allowed one run and six hits in 7 2-3 innings. The left-hander has won his last two starts after dropping his previous nine decisions.
He left with Ian Kinsler standing at third base after Kinsler’s RBI double finally got the Rangers on the board. Jamey Wright entered and walked Michael Young, but Adrian Beltre grounded to shortstop to end the threat.
“We are hitting a lot of balls hard, right at guys on occasion,” Kinsler said. “It seems like we can’t build an inning right now. It’s frustrating. We want to get going.”
It’s especially frustrating since Lewis pitched so well. He gave up Smoak’s homer in the second, Luis Rodriguez’s run-scoring double in the third and Ichiro Suzuki’s two-out RBI single in the seventh.
Smoak finished with three hits, including a long double.