Colby Lewis flirted with the 24th perfect game in MLB history Thursday and took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before settling for a complete-game two-hitter and a 5-1 win over the Oakland A’s.
Lewis (6-0) retired the first 23 batters in a bid for perfection. That ended with a two-out walk in the eighth to Yonder Alonso, but the no-hitter remained alive. Ryan Rua preserved it with a leaping catch of a Marcus Semien drive to end the inning.
In the ninth, Max Muncy, from Keller, opened with a towering fly ball that Nomar Mazara couldn’t grab as he banged into the right-field wall. The ball fell to the warning track for a double, and Muncy scored two batters later as Rua dived but couldn’t catch a Coco Crisp line drive.
Hitting: The Rangers had only two base runners against Daniel Mengden in the first six innings, Ian Desmond on a first-inning walk and Adrian Beltre on a single to start the second inning. Desmond was caught stealing, so Mengden had faced one over the minimum entering the seventh. ... Desmond started the seventh by sneaking a home run over the wall in the right-field corner for the game’s first run, and Prince Fielder plated another run later in the inning on a fielder’s choice. ... The Rangers successfully challenged the first play of the eighth, giving Rougned Odor a bunt single. Desmond followed with a walk, and Beltre doubled both home two batters later. Coco Crisp doubled two batters later as Rua dived but couldn’t get the line drive. Muncy scored.
Pitching: Colby Lewis was masterful in his 14th start of the season. ... The right-hander’s toughest inning was the first, when he needed 20 pitches. Jed Lowrie tested him for seven pitches before taking a called third strike, and Stephen Vogt flied to left field on the 10th pitch of the at-bat. ... The closest the A’s came to a hit early was in the third inning, when Max Muncy sent Nomar Mazara into the right-field corner with a fly ball. ... Then Lewis went into economy mode, needing seven pitches in the fourth, eight apiece in the fifth and sixth, and six in the seventh after the Raners had given him a 2-0 lead. ... Lewis retired the first two batters in eighth before walking Yonder Alonso on four pitches. The next batter, Marcus Semien, sent a drive to left field, but Ryan Rua tracked it and leaped to make the inning-ending catch and preserve the no-hitter. ... Lewis lost the no-hitter when Muncy started the ninth with a double off the right-field wall in the left field corner that Nomar Mazara just missed catching.