Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis is in the midst of a resurgent campaign at age 36, and it got even better Thursday. He narrowly missed a no-hitter and a perfect game during the Rangers' 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Lewis lost his perfect game when he walked Yonder Alonso in the eighth, his no-hitter when he allowed a double to Max Muncy to start the bottom of the ninth and his shutout when Coco Crisp drove Muncy home on a double.
Although he just missed history, Lewis still pitched a complete game and allowed a single run on two hits. He also struck out four batters and gave up only one walk. ESPN Stats & Info noted it was the first time someone broke up a no-hit bid in the final inning since last season:
Lewis didn't just post impressive results. He sported good velocity deep into the contest as he stymied the Oakland hitters, as Daren Willman of MLB.com pointed out:
Lewis' efficiency was almost as impressive as his stat line. Robert Brender of SiriusXM noted the Texas hurler threw only 75 pitches in those first seven innings, and Richard Justice of MLB.com tweeted Lewis was aggressive inside the strike zone:
The Texas offense helped set the tone in the late innings with two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. Ian Desmond drilled a home run in the seventh, while Adrian Beltre finished with three hits and drove in two runs with a double in the eighth.
Left fielder Ryan Rua also gave Lewis some help in the eighth with a leaping catch right in front of the wall, but Lewis walked Alonso on four pitches to end the perfect game.
The no-hitter didn't last much longer, as Muncy led off the bottom of the ninth with that double:
Lewis was already putting up career numbers through his first 13 starts of the year coming into Thursday, as MLB.com illustrated:
|Colby Lewis' Career Stats|
Lewis discussed his efforts after the win:
The Rangers rotation needed a boost after the team recently put Yu Darvish on the disabled list with shoulder discomfort, and Lewis provided that Thursday.
Even with the question marks surrounding Darvish's health after he missed the 2015 season following Tommy John surgery, the Rangers are in first place in the American League West by 6.5 games. If Lewis continues to pitch at an effective level, Texas will have a formidable rotation that also features Cole Hamels and Martin Perez as it strives to reach the postseason for the second straight year.