09/08/10 6:14 PM ET
Lewis taking things personally against Blue Jays
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Just ask the Rangers.
On Wednesday, Texas snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-1 victory against the Blue Jays.
On Thursday, the Rangers hope Colby Lewis can do the same with his personal skid.
Lewis has lost seven straight over his last nine starts. The losing streak could not have come at a worse time. The Rangers have a comfortable lead in the American League West but have not clinched anything -- yet. The club needs Lewis to pitch better down the stretch and build some momentum heading into the postseason.
So far, it's been a challenge. Lewis' last victory was July 16 against the Red Sox in his first start after the All-Star break. He has an 8.46 ERA in his last four starts, having allowed 23 runs -- 21 earned -- on 31 hits.
"It is what it is," Lewis said. "You just continue to grind it out. It's a situation where you go and compete and try to keep your team in the ballgame. I feel great. There is nothing physically wrong with me. I feel like I did on Opening Day."
By contrast, some could consider Shawn Hill's appearance on the mound for Toronto on Thursday a victory in itself. Hill, who is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, is making his first big league start since April 2009. He signed with the Blue Jays in January and is 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA in 11 Minor League starts this season, most recently with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Rangers: Washington offers no excuses
Rangers manager Ron Washington is not one to make excuses, but his club has used 96 different lineups this season. The club still leads the A's by 7 1/2 games in the AL West.
"We got the pieces here that we would like to have out there," Washington said. "It's just a matter of those pieces going out there and performing to their capabilities. That's the one thing that we have been missing -- is them just doing what they can do. I don't think it would have been noticeable if everybody had been [playing well]."
Blue Jays: Once, twice, three times
The Jays have hit three home runs in a Major League-leading 33 games this season. ... Jose Bautista went 0-for-4 on Wednesday but has reached base in 19 of 20 games since Aug. 18. ... Despite Wednesday's loss, the Jays have still won 12 of 18 games against the Rangers at Rogers Centre and are 7-2 against Texas this season. Overall, they are 180-184 against the Rangers.
Barring any setbacks, Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee is scheduled to start on Sunday at home against the Yankees. Josh Hamilton, who has sore ribs, is still day-to-day. ... Toronto's Yunel Escobar has reached base safely in 31 of 39 games with the Blue Jays. He's hitting .235 in his last 10 games and .256 for the season. ... Aaron Hill is hitting .300 with five home runs and five doubles in his last 13 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.