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Rangers Got a Win Streak Going Again

Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 4:11 PM CDT
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Rangers Got a Win Streak Going Again

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Colby Lewis #48 poses for a portrait during the Texas rangers Photo Day at Surprise on March 2, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.

Colby Lewis is headed home -- without his long winless stretch.

Lewis matched his career high in victories by winning for the first time since mid-July, Mitch Moreland drove in a career-high three runs and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Thursday night.

"The day belonged to Colby Lewis," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He stayed off the fat part of the bat, he made some good pitches when he had to. He just did an outstanding job."

The Rangers had scored only 17 runs in Lewis' previous nine starts, just eight of them while the right-hander was still on the mound. Lewis went 0-7 with a 5.07 ERA during the victory drought.

"He's been pitching well, it's just been a string of bad luck for him, not getting the breaks when he needs them," Moreland said. "Tonight we were able to get him a win and get him back on track."

The Rangers, who lead the AL West, won their second straight after losing nine of 12 and wrapped up their 10-game road trip with a 4-6 mark.

"Things just went bad for us there for a minute but we were able to right the ship," Washington said. "That's what it's all about."

Moreland finished 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly and an intentional walk. Vladimir Guerrero went 3 for 4 and scored twice for Texas.

Toronto's Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 44th homer, a solo shot off Darren O'Day in the eighth. Lyle Overbay went deep against Lewis in the seventh, his 18th.

The Blue Jays lead the majors with 218 homers this season, including a major league-best 122 at home. Toronto has homered in 11 consecutive games, hitting 23 in that span.

The attendance was 10,658, the third straight game Toronto has drawn fewer than 11,000 fans.

Lewis (10-12) allowed a season-high nine runs in his previous outing, Saturday's loss at Minnesota. The start before that wasn't much better, with Lewis giving up seven runs in a loss to Oakland.

"I just really wanted to kind of bounce back after the two poor outings that I had," he said. "That's the biggest thing I wanted to do today."

Lewis, who came in 1-3 with a 12.27 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays, was sharp over 6 1-3 innings, allowing one run and five hits, four of them singles. He struck out eight and walked two.

"It's definitely gratifying to get to double digits," said Lewis, who also won 10 games in 2003.

Asked how he planned to celebrate the win, Lewis said all he wanted was to catch up with his wife and 3-year-old son.

"I haven't seen my boy in about 10 days so I'm real excited to go back home and see my family," he said. "That's basically it. Long road trips are the biggest thing that kind of burn you out a little bit. I'm just looking forward to going back home and seeing the family."

Clay Rapada pitched one inning, O'Day got two outs in the eighth and Neftali Feliz closed it out in the ninth for his 35th save in 38 chances.

Making his first start since April 25, 2009, with San Diego, Blue Jays right-hander Shawn Hill (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Hill, who was born in suburban Toronto, underwent his second elbow ligament replacement surgery last June. After being released by the Padres in October, he signed with the Blue Jays in January.

Hill escaped a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the third when Ian Kinsler struck out and Michael Young grounded into a double play.

The Rangers broke through with two runs in the fourth. David Murphy scored from second on Nelson Cruz's single to shallow left when Travis Snider bobbled the ball and was charged with an error. Moreland followed with a fly ball to center, but catcher John Buck dropped Dewayne Wise's throw, allowing Guerrero to score.

Moreland lined left-hander Jesse Carlson's second pitch off the first base bag and down the line for a two-run double in the sixth.

NOTES: The Blue Jays claimed RHP Taylor Buchholz off waivers from Colorado and moved RHP Jesse Litsch (hip) to the 60-day disabled list. ... Washington said SS Elvis Andrus will return to the lineup Friday. Andrus has not played since Saturday, sitting out with a sore right hamstring. ... The Blue Jays homered in 13 straight games from July 3-20, hitting 28 in that stretch. ... O'Day has allowed four home runs this season, all of them in Toronto.

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