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In Lewis' crazy day, 12 strikeouts can't offset five homers

The SportsXchange

Colby Lewis made history Thursday.

If it were listed in a record book, it might look something like this: "Most bizarre starting performance of six or more innings."

In the first game of the Texas Rangers' doubleheader split with the Baltimore Orioles, Lewis allowed five hits -- all homers -- and struck out a career-high 12 batters in seven innings.

Lewis, who ended up a 6-5 loser, became the first pitcher in major league history to give up five hits, all of them homers, and also strike out at least 10. He became the second pitcher to pitch at least six innings and allow five hits, all of them homers, in major league history. Charlie Hough, pitching for the Rangers in 1989 against Cleveland, was the other.

Lewis allowed homers to the first three hitters of the game, then retired 18 in a row before allowing two more homers. Along the way, he struck out six in a row.

"It was just a weird game," Lewis said. "I have no way to justify it. I felt great going out there. I felt great in the seventh inning. I hardly feel like I pitched. And there wasn't one ball that they mishit or that just fell in. And with most of the homers, I felt like I had located the pitch where I wanted to. Even after those first three homers, I felt like someone is going to get an out at some point."

Another bit of weird history from the start: The Orioles led off the game with three consecutive homers. It was the fourth time in history for that to happen, but the first time in the American League. Coincidentally, J.J. Hardy, who hit one of the homers in the first inning Monday, also was part of the last game-opening, three-homer barrage with Milwaukee in 2007.

And yet, going to the seventh, the score was just 3-1 and Lewis was in line to qualify for a quality start.

"If you told me those numbers, I would think that kind of (start) would be hard to do," Lewis said.

On Thursday, much to his chagrin, he proved it was at least possible.

The Rangers got a better start in the second game of the doubleheader. Derek Holland gave up three runs -- all unearned -- in six innings during Texas' 7-3 win.
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