Texas heat: Lewis puts solid start on the line against Rays

Colby Lewis hopes to continue his hot start to the season and maybe put his name in Texas' record books this evening when the Rangers continue a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Lewis, who is 2-0 with a 2.02 earned run average, did not get a decision on Sunday in Detroit, but pitched well, as he surrendered two runs and seven hits in seven innings of his team's 3-2 triumph.

He also didn't allow a walk for the third straight start and has not issued one in his last 25 1/3 frames. The club record is 29 1/3 innings set by Jon Matlack in '78.

Lewis has faced the Rays four times (three starts) and is 3-0 with a 4.15 ERA.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, will counter with righty Jeff Niemann, who is 1-2 with a 4.11 ERA, but is coming off his first win of the season his last time out. Niemann beat the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, holding them to a pair of runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out five and walked two.

Niemann has lost both of his decisions to the Rangers and has given up 15 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings against them.

Tampa won for the sixth straight time in Friday's opener, as Evan Longoria belted a three-run home run and finished with four runs batted in, helping the Rays to an 8-4 win.

B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist added an RBI apiece while Luke Scott smacked a solo shot for the Rays. Starter James Shields surrendered four runs on eleven hits with eight strike outs over six innings to earn the victory.

"The guys did a great job of getting us off to a hot start," said Shields. "Obviously getting a bunch of runs early was huge and obviously against a team like this you have to do that."

The Rays' streak is their best since a seven-game run from July 24-30, 2010.

Texas starter Matt Harrison was shelled for seven runs -- six earned -- and 14 hits over five innings of work. Josh Hamilton launched a three-run homer while David Murphy added a solo shot for the Rangers, who had won two straight.

"It seemed like they knew what I was going to throw," lamented Harrison. "Maybe I was tipping something tonight, I don't know."

Texas won five of its nine regular season matchups with the Rays last season.