Colby Lewis struggled while losing his last two road starts, but he should have a good chance to turn things around as he attempts to again get the best of the Oakland Athletics.
Less than two weeks from nearly tossing a perfect game against the A's, the Texas Rangers right-hander looks for another strong effort opposite the Athletics on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.
In perhaps the most dominating performance of his career, Lewis (16-8, 4.41 ERA) retired the first 21 batters he faced before Danny Valencia doubled to lead off the eighth inning during a 4-0 win on Sept. 11. The 36-year-old Lewis would yield one more hit and not walk a batter en route to his career-high 15th victory.
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''When you are witnessing great things happening, there's a mutual respect,'' Valencia said.
Lewis, whose 10 career wins against the A's are his most off any opponent, is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts opposite them in 2015.
He followed that gem against Oakland by giving up two runs in six innings of Thursday's 8-2 win over Houston. He'll try to become Texas' first 17-game winner since Scott Feldman in 2009.
Lewis has allowed 13 runs and 17 hits over 10 2-3 innings in his last two starts away from home, but is 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 13 career starts at Oakland.
Texas (81-69) rallied from an early 4-1 deficit to win 8-6 on Tuesday, beating the A's for only the third time in the last nine meetings.
''It was just one of those games we continued to fight and kept rolling the lineup over trying to create some opportunities, and we were able to put some runs on the board,'' first baseman Mitch Moreland said.
With that victory and Houston's loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Rangers increased their AL West lead to two games.
"It's just about winning," slugger Adrian Beltre told MLB's official website. "Baseball is not easy."
Moreland delivered a tying two-run homer in the sixth, his career high-matching 23rd. His 81 RBIs are already a personal best.
Beltre is 7 for 11 and Moreland 3 for 6 against Felix Doubront (3-2, 4.95), who is 0-5 with an 11.51 ERA as a starter against Texas. He allowed seven runs and homers to Shin-soo Choo and two to Beltre in 4 1-3 innings of a 12-4 loss Sept. 13.
That's the only one of Doubront's last six starts that Oakland has lost. The left-hander is 2-1 despite a 7.25 ERA in his last four starts, but his best of that stretch came Friday when he allowed three runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of 4-3 win at Houston.
Marcus Semien and Jake Smolinski each tripled Tuesday for the A's, whose 40 this season tied the club record set in 1968 while dropping their third consecutive contest.
''At times we had good at-bats, at times we didn't," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "At times we made some good defensive plays, other times we didn't. So it was not a real consistent game.''
Semien is 0 for 10 with four strikeouts against Lewis.