HOUSTON – Colby Lewis allowed four hits in eight-plus innings and drove in two runs, and the Texas Rangers took a five-run lead in the first inning before coasting to a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Lewis (4-3) capped the Rangers' first-inning scoring with a bases-loaded, two-out single to center field to score two. The Rangers got to Houston starter Jordan Lyles early, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton and adding two more on a single by Nelson Cruz before the hit by Lewis.
Lewis didn't allow a run until Jed Lowrie's solo shot to right field to start the ninth. He was replaced by Robbie Ross, who allowed one hit. It was the longest outing of the season for Lewis, who walked one and struck out six.
The performance allowed Lewis to bounce back from a string of three straight losses, where he allowed a combined 19 runs and 23 hits.
David Murphy added a solo home run in the fifth inning, a day after hitting his first career inside-the-park homer for Texas.
Lyles (0-1) yielded nine hits and six runs — both season highs — in five innings in his third start. The 21-year-old, who has spent most of the season in Triple-A, walked three and struck out six.
Jose Altuve hit a leadoff double for the Astros before Lewis walked Carlos Lee with two outs. Lewis retired the next nine Astros after that, and Houston didn't have another baserunner until a single by Travis Buck with two outs in the fourth. But Lewis retired Chris Johnson to end that inning.
Lewis retired the side in the fifth before Altuve singled to start the sixth. He sent down the next nine Astros before he was chased by Lowrie's homer.
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus hit consecutive singles in the first inning before Kinsler scored on the sacrifice fly by Hamilton. Michael Young hit a two-out double before Lyles intentionally walked Murphy to load the bases.
The walk backfired when Cruz knocked a line drive single to left field to score two and push the lead to 3-0.
Lyles then plunked Yorvit Torrealba before the two-RBI single by Lewis.
Kinsler grounded out to end the inning.
There was some confusion in the second inning when Young was batting with two out and two strikes. Young took a pitch for a strike, but the home plate umpire thought it was only strike two. After Lee and Lyles protested, holding up three fingers, he asked the first base umpire and realized it was the third strike and patted Young on the shoulder to leave.
NOTES: Texas Japanese star Yu Darvish will face Seattle for the second time on Monday when he opposes right-hander Felix Hernandez. Darvish yielded eight hits, five runs and four walks in 5 2-3 innings in an 11-5 win in his major league debut against the Mariners on April 9. "Although it is my second time facing those guys, my first time I really wasn't able to display the type of pitching that I wanted to," Darvish, who allowed four runs in the first inning before settling down, said through a translator. "But I think this time I'll probably have a better approach in pitching to these guys."... Houston CF Jordan Schafer was doing much better on Sunday, a day after injuring his leg avoiding a collision in center field. Manager Brad Mills said he has a muscle strain on his lower right leg and expects him to return by Wednesday. ... Houston's Bud Norris is set to pitch against Matt Garza when the Astros and Cubs open a three-game series Monday.