Lewis tries to improve his fortunes against the Twins while looking for a sixth consecutive victory overall Wednesday night.
Lewis (10-7, 3.93 ERA), who is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in seven starts since allowing six runs in 1 1-3 innings of an 8-1 loss at Minnesota on June 11, has given up just one run and six hits over 15 1-3 innings while winning his last two starts. He yielded a homer and one other hit in 6 2-3 innings of a 12-2 win over Toronto on Friday.
“Command pitches and keep them off balance and you’re able to keep (the opposition) from scoring,” Lewis told the Rangers’ official website.
The right-hander has had trouble accomplishing both while going 0-3 with a 9.41 ERA in five starts versus Minnesota. The only home outing of those came Aug. 24, when he gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 win Aug. 24.
Lewis tries to help the AL West-leading Rangers (59-45) bounce back after Neftali Feliz(notes) blew his fifth save by allowing two runs in the ninth of a 9-8 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. Though Texas has a three-game lead over Los Angeles, it has dropped four of seven since winning 12 in a row.
“We certainly were in position to win it,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We had the ball in the hands of the person we wanted to have it in. We just didn’t get it done.”
Nelson Cruz(notes) had three hits with two RBIs in the loss, and is batting .600 (15 for 25) with 12 runs driven in over the last six games. He’s batted .375 with four RBIs in six games versus Minnesota this season but is 1 for 5 with two strikeouts against scheduled starter Brian Duensing(notes) (7-8, 4.53).
The left-hander was 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in four starts since losing at San Francisco on June 23 before he allowed seven runs over 4 2-3 innings of an 8-2 loss to Detroit on Friday.
“It was one of those days where I just didn’t have it,” Duensing said.
He also did not have it when he surrendered seven runs over two innings of a 9-3 loss June 10 to fall to 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA against the Rangers as a starter.
Duensing looks to improve on that record while trying to help the Twins (48-55) build on their latest victory that came one night after they allowed 27 hits in a 20-6 loss to Texas.
Joe Mauer(notes) drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit double while Danny Valencia(notes) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka(notes) each had two RBIs on Tuesday as Minnesota won for the second time in six games.
“I think that’s the biggest show of character from this team, we get our brains beat in (Monday) and fall down 7-3 (Tuesday) and not give up, I think that’s one thing we’ve proven this year,” said reliever Joe Nathan(notes), who tied Rick Aguilera’s team record with his 254th save.
Mauer has hit .369 with nine RBIs his last 18 games, and is 2 for 5 against Lewis.