09/14/10 8:58 PM ET
As it's shaping up, Texas nearing playoff return
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Tuesday's 11-4 victory against the Tigers was the club's sixth in a row. The Rangers lead the American League West by nine games with 18 to play, and the team's magic number is 10.
The equation has the folks in Texas believing in a postseason appearance for the first time since 1999.
But first things first. On Wednesday, the Rangers' Colby Lewis will take the mound against Detroit's Armando Galarraga.
Galarraga plus the Tigers' offense are good enough to spoil the Rangers' good vibes -- at least for one night.
Galarraga, who had his start moved up a day to replace injured starter Rick Porcello, allowed three runs in seven innings on Friday against the O's in his last outing. He's been far from perfect away from Detroit and has struggled on the road with a 1-2 record.
As for Lewis, he snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday. He allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings in his first win since July 16.
"I went about my business like every four days in between," Lewis said after his last outing. "I knew the mistakes I made. I mean, eight runs scored with two outs [against the Twins], I just didn't make some get-out pitches, and they took advantage of it, period."
Lewis is 2-7 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break. He is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts vs. the Tigers.
"It's definitely gratifying to get double digits, for sure," Lewis said. "I just really wanted to bounce back after the two poor outings I had."
Tigers: Players are hot
Johnny Damon had a pinch-hit triple in the ninth inning Tuesday, the 99th triple of his career. He now ranks second among active players behind only Carl Crawford's 104 triples. ... Jhonny Peralta is hitting .330 with five doubles, three home runs and 22 RBIs in his last 24 games. ... Ryan Raburn is hitting .343 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in his last 36 games. ... Austin Jackson has scored 25 runs in his last 24 games. ... Detroit's starting pitching has registered a quality start in 17 of its last 25 games.
Rangers: Staying on top
Michael Young recorded his 49th multihit game of the season Tuesday, extending his club record with career multihit game No. 537. ... The Rangers have held a lead between seven and 10 games in the AL West for 50 straight days. The last time the division lead was fewer than seven games was July 24. They have had sole possession of the top spot in the division for 98 days. ... The Rangers have a club-record 160 infield hits this season.
The Rangers have been breaking even since the All-Star break. The club is 7-5 in September and 13-14 since Aug. 16. Moreover, the Rangers are 25-24 since July 21. They have played well at home, and the club has won four straight and nine of its past games 10 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers are 16-7 in Arlington since the All-Star break.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.