Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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Lewis, Odor Lead Rangers To Shutout Win Over Astros

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[May 13, 2014]  HOUSTON -- For Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis, Monday night represented a return to form. For Texas second baseman Rougned Odor, it was a coming-out party at the Houston Astros' expense.

Lewis delivered another exceptional outing at Minute Maid Park while Odor recorded a pair of milestones in the Rangers' 4-0 win Monday night.

Lewis (3-2) improved to 4-0 all-time in Houston, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out eight over 5 2/3 innings. Lewis dropped his career ERA to 1.10 over six appearances (four starts) at Minute Maid Park, the third lowest among active pitchers with at least 25 innings pitched. He has 32 strikeouts over 32 2/3 innings in Houston.

Less than a month removed from his first big league start in nearly 21 months, Lewis showcased supreme command of his slider and fastball.

"I feel like I was able to flip the breaking ball in for strikes, and when the breaking ball is sharp, you can rip on it a little bit more and try to get a couple more outs with it," Lewis said. "That's kind of what you want as a starting pitcher. You want to have at least three of the four working for you and when you have four of the four pitches working for you, it makes for an easier night."

Right-handers Nick Martinez and Joakim Soria, along with southpaw Neal Cotts, helped preserve the shutout for the Rangers (20-19). Texas pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts as Houston (12-27) finished 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 baserunners total.

"You look at the difference and it's the ability to hit with men in scoring position and getting into situations where we have an opportunity to put a runner across by putting the ball in play," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You strike (out) 14 times, and the other team only has to defend the baseball 13 times, that's a recipe for not having a good offensive night."

The Astros managed at least one baserunner per inning against Lewis through five, yet aside from the first, when center fielder Dexter Fowler reached on a one-out triple to right, failed to mount a serious threat.

Lewis stranded Fowler by striking out catcher Jason Castro and inducing a groundout from third baseman Matt Dominguez. He worked around a two-out double by designated hitter Chris Carter in the second, a pair of walks in the third, and singles by first baseman Marc Krauss and second baseman Jose Altuve in the fourth and fifth innings.

He did so by striking out the side in the second and fanning two batters in the fourth and fifth. Catcher Robinson Chirinos chipped in by gunning down two would-be base-stealers: Altuve in the first and Fowler in the third.

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Astros right-hander Brad Peacock (0-4) was almost as sharp, fanning Chirinos swinging for the second out of the sixth. However, Odor followed with his first career home run, an upper-deck shot to right field for the Rangers' second dinger. Third baseman Adrian Beltre cranked a two-run shot off Peacock in the third.

"The one to Beltre, I kind of hung it a little bit," said Peacock, who finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts while allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings. "He got me. He's a good hitter. I can't make those mistakes to him."

Odor gave Texas a 3-0 lead with his run-scoring single in the fourth, his first career RBI. His solo shot bumped the lead to 4-0. Odor finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs after entering the game batting .167 since having his contract purchased from Double-A Frisco on May 8.

"It feels really good because I got a chance to help my team out, to win the game," Odor said. "I'm really content with that."

NOTES: Texas' Shin-Soo Choo made his eighth start as designated hitter primarily to give LF Mitch Moreland a start in the field. Moreland entered Monday batting .394 (13-for-33) over his last 14 games, yet he started just eight of those contests. ... Astros RHP Matt Albers hit a snag in his rehab for right shoulder tendinitis, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list April 22. Albers skipped his scheduled simulated game last Friday after experiencing continued discomfort. ... Rangers INF Josh Wilson accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. Wilson was designated for assignment May 8.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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