SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis knew right away he was in for a battle. Mariners starter Cliff Lee was making his first start after missing almost a month with a strained abdominal muscle. But when he retired the side in order in the first with two strikeouts, Lewis knew nothing would be easy on Friday night. "You know Lee is going to give a good performance," Lewis said. "It was one of those deals where you just keep doing what you're doing and try to match him. That's all you can do."
Lewis did that and more. He wasn't around to get the victory when the Rangers pulled out a 2-0 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field. But as third baseman Michael Young said, "Colby was great. He was the story of the game." Certainly one of the most significant, that's for sure. Lewis went nine innings in the longest outing of his career and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out 10. He retired the last 21 batters he faced. "I'm just glad we got the win," Lewis said. "I was able to throw all my pitches when I needed to. My fastball had good command and my offspeed stuff ... I had great command." This marked the third time in five starts that Lewis had 10 strikeouts in a game and his 38 strikeouts for the month are the second most ever by a Rangers pitcher in April. Nolan Ryan had 49 in 1989. This was also the first time a Rangers pitcher has thrown at least nine scoreless innings in a game and not received a win since Ryan threw 10 scoreless in a start on Aug. 17, 1990, against the White Sox. The Rangers won that game, 1-0. "Obviously, we would have liked to have gotten Colby a win given the way he pitched," outfielder Josh Hamilton said. Lewis is still 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA after five starts. Two of those starts have come against the Mariners, and he's allowed just one run on eight hits in 16 innings against them. "He shows you several different looks, several different speeds, and he pitched a heck of a ballgame," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He was using everything: fastball, cutter, slider, and he was doing it to some pretty good hitters," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was just great tonight." Frank Francisco ended up getting the victory, his third this month. He is only the fourth Rangers reliever to win three games in the month of April. The others were Jim Kern in 1979, Carlos Almanzar in 2004 and Francisco Cordero in '06.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.