Rangers rally past Astros with 7-run 6th inning

Associated Press Modified: June 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm •  Published: June 17, 2012
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers are getting used to the consistently good starts Colby Lewis has been giving them lately.

Lewis gave up three hits and walked one while striking out 10 in seven innings, Ian Kinsler had a three-run triple and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in a seven-run sixth inning, and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 9-3 on Sunday.

Lewis (6-5), who won his second straight outing, has a 2.25 ERA while going 3-2 over his last six starts. He kept the Rangers in the game when the team couldn't take advantage of opportunities in earlier innings against Astros rookie pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who was making his major-league debut.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lewis. "We (had) opportunities earlier against (Keuchel) . the kid made some pitches.

"But Colby stayed steadfast and kept us around."

The Rangers won for the sixth time in seven games after limping into June with injuries and losing six of 10 on a road trip to start the month.

Kinsler had two hits and went 4 for 9 the last two games after an 0-for-14 stretch. He began the day hitting .227 in his previous 18 games.

"You have to keep grinding, keep putting the pressure on them and something good happens," Washington said. "Today it was Kinsler. You just have to keep grinding."

Beltre, who also singled in the eighth, has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games.

Carlos Lee, in his first game back after missing time on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, went 2 for 4 with two RBIs as the Astros' designated hitter.

Lewis has struck out 84 and walked 12 in 96 innings, giving him a major league-leading strikeouts-to-walks ratio. His only walk Sunday, with one out in the fifth to Jason Castro, was followed by a two-base wild pitch. Matt Downs then blooped a single over a drawn-in infield on the right side to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Lewis followed by retiring the last eight batters he faced.

"Try to pound the strike zone and get some quick outs . that's my M.O.," said Lewis, who threw only 92 pitches. "Overall, it was a good day. I was able to hang around for the offense to put up a big number."

The right-hander got into a bind in the second with runners on first and third with no outs after giving up leadoff singles to Lee and Brian Bogusevic. He followed, though, by striking out Justin Maxwell and Castro and then got an inning-ending grounder from Downs.

"He takes the ball every fifth day," Kinsler said. "We know we're going to get a quality start. He's the rock of our rotation."

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