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BOS@TEX: Hamilton belts a solo homer to right field

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis said he didn't throw that much different than his previous starts. That may be true, but the results were certainly different as he suffered through his roughest start in more than two months.

Lewis allowed six runs in the first three innings and the Rangers couldn't recover in an 11-5 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night at the Ballpark. Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez led the assault with two home runs after coming in with just one in his last 155 at-bats going back to July 8.

"I'm not too disappointed with it," Lewis said. "I felt like I did what I normally do, and that's pound the strike zone. They put the ball in play and found some holes. I'm the type of pitcher that likes to attack hitters. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

"It is what it is. I'll bounce back and roll with the good ones, too. I don't feel I threw the ball badly. They just put the ball in play and I made a couple of mistakes with runners in scoring position."

Red Sox starter John Lackey is the one who normally has trouble in the Ballpark. He allowed nine runs in 3 2/3 innings in a start here earlier this year and was 2-5 with an 8.04 ERA overall in his last 12 starts against the Rangers. But this time he was able get a win by holding the Rangers to four runs in 6 2/3 innings.

"I like hot, but I don't think anybody likes to pitch here, honestly," Lackey said. "This place is pretty tough, for a lot of reasons. The ballpark, they've always had a good lineup here. But with the offense we're bringing in with us, you feel a little more confident than I have a few times in the past."

This was the most runs Lewis has allowed in a game since giving up six runs in just 1 1/3 innings in a start against the Twins on June 11. That left him 5-7 with a 4.97 ERA on the season, but he was 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 starts since then until Tuesday night.

"I thought he threw a lot of strikes and they didn't miss," manager Ron Washington said. "It wasn't like he was all over the place trying to find the strike zone. He found the strike zone ... he threw strikes, too many strikes."

Lewis had pitched seven scoreless innings against the Angels last Thursday prior to this outing.

"It wasn't the Colby we saw the last couple outings," catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. "He wasn't able to expand the zone, especially late in the count with two strikes. He was hanging a couple of breaking balls, and against such an offensive ballclub, they weren't missing them. It was more about executing his pitches, and he wasn't able to. There were a lot of hanging pitches."

Lewis was able to hang around for six innings. That at least kept the Rangers from going to the bullpen early with long reliever Scott Feldman still unavailable after throwing 4 2/3 frames Sunday. The last thing Washington wanted was a short outing from one of his most reliable starters.

"That would have destroyed my bullpen," Washington said.

Lewis, after giving up two to Gonzalez, has now allowed 30 home runs, the most in the Major Leagues. The club record is 41, set by Rick Helling in 1999.

"I've never given up a home run that wasn't a strike," Lewis said. "I just try to throw strikes, and that's one of the things that comes with the territory of throwing strikes."

Lewis also fell to 4-5 with a 5.56 ERA at the Ballpark in Arlington this season. He is one of eight pitchers in the AL with an ERA of 5.00 or higher in their home ballpark. He had a 3.41 ERA at the Ballpark in 2010.

"I don't know. ... It is what it is," Lewis said.

The Rangers almost got back into this game against Lackey. They trailed, 6-0, going into the bottom of the third before scoring three runs. But Gonzalez, who hit a two-run homer in the first, smacked his second of the night in the fourth to help the Red Sox regain some momentum.

Josh Hamilton's home run in the fifth made it 7-4 and the Rangers were able to get the tying run to the plate on more than one occasion. A walk to Mike Napoli and a single by Mitch Moreland put runners at the corners for Torrealba. He hit a grounder back to the mound that Lackey fielded as he stumbled to his knees. But he made a strong throw to second on his knees and the Red Sox were able to turn an inning-ending double play.

"I got myself out there by swinging at bad pitches," Torrealba said. "I tried to overswing and hit a home run and tie or get close in the game. I got myself out."

The Red Sox broke the game open with four runs off of Darren Oliver and Mark Lowe in the eighth. Lowe had not allowed an earned run (three unearned runs) in 14 appearances since July 3 before giving up a pair of two-run doubles to Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia. Comments