09/04/10 2:46 AM ET
Rangers need Lewis to step up down stretch
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
With a possible appearance in the postseason looming for Texas, the Rangers need their right-handed starter to get back on track. Lewis is 0-6 with a 4.03 ERA in his last eight starts since an 8-4 victory over the Red Sox in his first start after the All-Star break.
The Rangers, who are 5-5 in their last 10 games, can barely afford another loss from Lewis down the stretch.
In his last outing, Lewis gave up a season-high seven runs, six earned, in an 8-2 loss to the Athletics on Sunday. He'll look to snap the skid when he takes the mound Saturday against the Twins and Carl Pavano.
"You can do the numbers," Lewis said. "It's a situation where, before [Sunday], I don't think I've give up more than three runs. I don't know, like I said, you can look at the numbers."
Following Friday's 4-3 win by the Twins, the numbers indicate that the Rangers lead the A's by nine games in the American League West. For their part, the Twins lead the White Sox in the AL Central by four games.
As for Pavano, he will face the Rangers for the second time in three starts, having allowed four runs over eight innings at Texas on Aug. 24. He's still searching for elusive win No. 16 on the season, having lost each of his past three outings, which included a dominant performance in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners in his last start.
He gave up two runs on five hits in seven innings against Seattle.
"It happens," Pavano said. "They string three hits. That's all it was, three hits."
Rangers: Hamilton scorching at the plate
Josh Hamilton is on his way to strong finish. The outfielder is batting .449 (22-for-49) with five home runs, 16 RBIs, three doubles and 12 runs scored over his last 13 games. He has hit safely in six consecutive games. Hamilton also needs one homer to match his career high of 32 home runs set in 2008 and three RBIs to reach 100 RBIs for the second time in his career. ... Closer Neftali Feliz has converted 25 of his last 26 save chances. He has 34 saves this season and is making a strong case for AL Rookie of The Year.
Twins: Valencia providing a boost
Is Danny Valencia a good luck charm or is he just that good? The club is 39-24 in the 63 games played by the third baseman. His .343 batting average is tops among Major League rookies with at least 200 at-bats. ... The club is 15-4-2 in series at home this season and 8-4 in extra-inning games.
Rangers starter C.J. Wilson was selected the Player of the Month for August by the writers and broadcasters who cover the team on a regular basis. Wilson, who went 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in the month, will start Sunday in the series finale. ... The Rangers have had sole possession of first place in the AL West for 87 consecutive days and have spent a total of 123 days in the top spot this season. ... Including Friday's 4-3 victory, the Twins are 26-21 in one-run games this season. They have played four one-run games against the Rangers this season and have lost two of them.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.