Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis notched his first win of the young season on Monday night in a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners that was the opener of a three-game series. Lewis allowed only four hits and one run over six innings and had a stretch of 13 consecutive outs.
The Rangers improve to 4-4 and are tied with the Oakland A’s for first in the American League West.
The Mariners took the lead off Lewis in the first inning when former Ranger Nelson Cruz hit an RBI double. One inning later, new Ranger Ian Desmond walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a bloop single to right by shortstop Elvis Andrus. That tied the score.
A sacrifice fly by designated hitter Prince Fielder gave Texas a lead in the third inning it would not relinquish.
In the fourth, first baseman Mitch Moreland and left fielder Ryan Rua hit singles, then second baseman Rougned Odor knocked in one run with a double to make it 4-1.
Brett Nicholas, a rookie catcher called up on Sunday from the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, doubled in the seventh for his first Major League hit. Fielder brought him home with a single over the head of Seattle shortstop Ketel Marte.
Seattle loaded the bases in the seventh inning, but Texas reliever Sam Dyson got outfielder Norichika Aoki to ground out and retire the side. The game was 7-3 an inning later after Cruz hit a two-run homer off Rangers reliever Keone Kela.
A top prospect of Texas, Nomar Mazara, continued a promising start since his Sunday callup: He hit 2-for-4 with an RBI and is batting .625. A scout gave this assessment of the 20-year-old to the Dallas Morning News: “Mazara’s approach and instincts are so advanced for his age. He uses the field and is a threat in any count. Basically, he owns the plate.”
The Rangers play the Mariners again at 9:10 p.m. CDT Tuesday. Derek Holland (0-0) starts for Texas against Wade Miley (0-0) of Seattle. Holland pitched five innings and gave up three earned runs on April 7 in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.