Before Tuesday’s game, Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said sooner or later his club would get nicked.
He must have known something.
The Rangers’ seven-game winning streak came to an end as the Cincinnati Reds took the opener of a two-game series 8-2 at Globe Life Park.
Colby Lewis lost for the first time in 2016 and left the game with a cramp in his right triceps. He’ll be reevaluated Wednesday but downplayed the issue after the game.
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Lewis, who was coming off a near perfect game Thursday in Oakland, lasted a season-low five innings for just the second time in 15 starts.
The Reds jumped on Lewis in the first with a walk, a single and Jay Bruce’s three-run homer. He retired 11 consecutive batters after the homer but was hit for three more in the fifth and left trailing 6-2. He’ll be re-evaluated Wednesday. The six earned runs are tied for the most he’s allowed in a game this season.
Typically when you come off a long trip like that the second day back is the one that you kind of look at ... we didn’t have enough tonight.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
Lewis felt the pain in the first inning.
“It was just something I felt like I could manage with the quick innings in between,” he said. “Didn’t put myself in a good spot there in the fifth with a long inning, and I started to feel it during the third or fourth batter that inning and it got progressively tighter.”
Cole Hamels, who followed Lewis’ bid for perfection with one of his best outings as a Rangers pitcher on Friday in St. Louis, starts Wednesday. He went 7 2/3 Friday against the Cardinals and could give the Rangers’ taxed bullpen a break with another strong start. Texas’ bullpen has pitched 17 2/3 innings combined in the past four games.
“Having Cole going tomorrow and an off day afterward,” Banister said. “I look for a solid start from Cole tomorrow. It’s not how you want to draw it up but those [bullpen] guys have thrown the ball very well.”
Jurickson Profar’s two-run homer in the second pulled the Rangers to within 3-2, but they managed only four more hits the final seven innings. Reds starter Anthony DeSclafini earned his first win of the season. It was his third start of the season after starting the season on the disabled list. He held Texas to five hits over a season-high seven innings.
“He had good stuff. The slider and cutter, and he was locating the fastball, too,” Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “He kept us off balance the whole game, and the offense gave him some room.”
I’ve been down this road too many times, where if I keep running myself out there then I put this team in jeopardy more than just myself.
Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis, on deciding to come out of the game
The Rangers were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Prince Fielder doubled to start the fifth but was stranded at third.
“We’re not going to overanalyze this game,” Banister said. “These guys have been going after it really hard. Typically when you come off a long trip like that the second day back is the one that you kind of look at ... we didn’t have enough tonight. You tip your hat and move on.”
Lewis said he hoped to give the Rangers a couple more innings to save the bullpen.
“I’ve been down this road too many times, where if I keep running myself out there then I put this team in jeopardy more than just myself,” said Lewis, who has felt similar tightness in the triceps before. “I felt like I needed to say something at that point. It just sucks, because even though I was giving up runs, the pitch count was down and I could’ve saved the bullpen for at least three more innings.”
Rangers vs. Reds
7:05 p.m. Wednesday, FSSW