Published November 20, 2014
Tampa Bay wasn't discouraged even though its six-game winning streak ended.
Colby Lewis allowed one run in six innings, Josh Hamilton had a two-run single and the Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-2 on Saturday night.
Matt Joyce, who provided the only offense against Lewis with a second-inning home run, doesn't expect Saturday's setback to linger.
"This is a great team," Joyce said. "I don't think that's going to affect us too much. "We're one of the best teams in baseball and we know that."
Lewis (3-0) helped the Rangers remain the only team in baseball without consecutive losses this season.
The right-hander allowed three runs and three hits in improving to 4-0 in his career against the Rays.
Tampa Bay had been on its longest winning streak in a single season since a seven-game run July 24-30, 2010.
"You're not going to win every game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm sorry folks, it just doesn't happen that way."
Rays starter Jeff Niemann (1-3) gave up three runs and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. The Rangers then broke the game open against Tampa Bay's bullpen.
After intentionally walking Hamilton, Adrian Beltre hit a three-run home run off reliever Burke Badenhop to cap a four-run seventh and extend Texas' lead to 7-1.
Tampa Bay's bullpen had not given up an earned run in its last 16 innings coming into the game.
The Rangers improved to 16-5 to equal their best 21-game start in club history.
"We kept grinding and then we had a big inning," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Ian Kinsler walked to start the game and advanced to third on Elvis Andrus' double to right. Hamilton, who hit his American League-leading ninth home run Friday, lifted a single to shallow left to put the Rangers on top 2-0 in the first.
Hamilton went 2 for 3 and now leads the AL with 24 RBIs.
"With Colby pitching, we wanted to get him a couple of runs early," Hamilton said.
Lewis, who gave up his first walk in 25 2-3 innings, made sure that early lead held up until Texas' offense got rolling.
Other than Joyce's home run, Evan Longoria's 40-foot dribbler down the third-base line in the first was the only other hit off Lewis through five innings.
Carlos Pena singled leading off the sixth before he was erased on Longoria's double play grounder.
Lewis, who had walked only one batter in his first four starts, struck out five. Texas' opening day starter lowered his ERA to 1.93.
"I thought we hit the ball well all night long," Maddon said. "It was just one of those nights it did not want to work offensively."
Notes: The Rangers signed RHP Justin Miller to a minor-league deal Saturday. Miller had just been released by the club Monday. ... Longoria had an RBI double in the eighth. That gives him 105 RBIs in his last 119 games dating to last season. ... The game drew a season-high 49,197 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It was the team's fifth straight sellout and seventh of the season.