Colby Lewis Throws 10 K’s and Josh Hamilton Has Big Hits as Texas Rangers Rebound Against the Atlanta Braves
After being swept for the first time this season and having a 5 game lose streak, their longest of the season, the Rangers came back with all cylinders clicking as they defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-2.Colby Lewis was on the mound for the Rangers and his last two starts had been disastrous. He had given up 15 runs in 4 2/3rd innings in his last two starts. However, it looks like he recovered nicely and re-found his groove against the Braves. He went 6 2/3rd innings last night and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while getting 10 strikeouts.
However, it looks like the Rangers bullpen still can't find a way to stop the long ball. After the terrible series against the Yankees where the ball couldn't stop flying over the fences, a similar problem happened against the Braves. Both runs were scored for the Braves on big solo home runs. The Rangers just need to count themselves fortunate the bases were empty.
The Rangers bats got out of their funk last night behind outfielder Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz who had 3 RBI's a piece. The slumping Cruz recovered early to get the Rangers the lead in the 2nd on a double to score Michael Young and make it a 1-0 game.
The Braves would reply in the 4th on one of their solo shots but Hamilton came right back in the 5th with a 2 run homer, his 5th home run of the season, to reclaim the lead for the Rangers at 3-1. Following Hamilton's homer the Rangers extended their lead in the 5th on another Cruz double that scored Adrian Beltre and Young, again. Cruz gave the Rangers a 5-1 lead and recovered a bit of his confidence after he had been had been 0 for 18 with 10 strikeouts in his last 5 games.
Hamilton would go on to log another RBI in the 9th on a single, making him 4-5 on the night. This was a nice turn around from his last 4 games where he went 3 for 17 and dropped his batting average from .375 to .284.
Hamilton had this to say about his pregame practice:
"I took a lot of swings today, a lot of flips and work off the tee. I felt like I was in a good place with my practice before the game. I went up there with a plan and I was able to get things done." -AP
This was a win the Rangers needed badly on this road trip after starting it off winning just 1 of 7 against the Twins and Yankees. This win comes as the Seattle Mariners pull with in half a game of the AL West leading Rangers.
After this series the Rangers will travel back home for the Battle of the Silver Boot against their I-35 rival, the Houston Astros.