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Cruz hits two home runs in three-hit game

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' winning streak and sterling run of starting pitching came to an abrupt halt on a hot Saturday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Colby Lewis gave up a season-high eight runs in four innings, and the Rangers had their seven-game winning streak snapped with an 11-7 loss to the Rockies. Seven of the eight runs allowed by Lewis crossed the plate with two outs in an inning, which was completely uncharacteristic for him this season.

The Rockies were 4-for-6 with two outs and runners in scoring position against Lewis. Prior to this start, Lewis had held opponents to just three hits in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position and two outs over his previous 14 starts.

"Bad day at the office," said Lewis, who is 6-6 with a 3.51 ERA on the season. "When we have them, they are a little more exposed. But everybody has them. No worries. I'll come back and get them five days from now against Oakland."

The Rangers had 15 hits, including two home runs from Nelson Cruz. But Josh Hamilton had a rough day at the plate, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.

"It was a wild game," Cruz said. "They came out strong swinging the bat, and at least we attempted to come back. You want to stay focused and not give up any at-bats. We battled, and it doesn't matter what the score is, we're going to give it whatever we've got."

This was the third-highest number of runs given up by Lewis in 79 starts since returning from Japan in 2010. He has allowed nine runs in a start twice, the last coming in a 13-7 loss to the Tigers on June 6, 2009.

Lewis gave up four home runs in that game. The long ball was not Lewis' problem on Saturday afternoon. Instead it was a succession of singles that kept finding safe havens over, between and off Rangers fielders.

"Most frustrating was making good pitches and them hitting flares that fell in," Lewis said. "I'm not going to dissect it. I don't dissect good outings and I don't dissect bad ones. I had a bad day, and that's the way it goes."

Rangers starters were 9-2 with a 1.98 ERA in their last 13 games. This was the most runs a starter has given up in a game since Scott Feldman allowed eight in a 12-1 loss to Oakland on June 4.

Lewis gave up 12 hits and nine were singles. The one that seemed to hurt the most was a two-out, two-run bloop single by Tyler Colvin that dropped in between shortstop Elvis Andrus and Hamilton in left field. The day started spiraling out of control for Lewis after that.

"Sure, you would like to have seen that play been made," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Hamilton running in, Elvis running out, there was a little bit of misjudgment. That's a tough play. You'd like to think it was a play that should have been made, but that wasn't the case."

Michael Kirkman took over in the fifth and gave up a two-run home run to Wil Nieves and a solo shot to Dexter Fowler. That made it 11-1 before the Rangers scored six runs against Rockies starter Josh Outman and reliever Adam Ottavino in the bottom of the fifth. Cruz, who had gone deep in the fourth inning, hit a three-run home run during the rally. But the Rangers couldn't get closer than that.

"They swung the bats, hit the ball hard and put runs on the board," Washington said. "We might have had a chance to win if we put 12 runs on the board. We only put seven up. They beat us."

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jonathan Herrera led off with a single, stole second and third and scored on a two-out single by Jason Giambi. Lewis ended up throwing 30 pitches in the first inning, and Washington suggested that might have taken something out of him.

"His breaking ball wasn't as sharp," Washington said.

Game-time temperature was 95 degrees, but Lewis rejected any suggestion that the heat was to blame.

"Never at one point did I feel tired," Lewis said.

Lewis started the third by striking out Herrera. Jordan Pacheco and Carlos Gonzalez then singled, and Giambi reached with a grounder off of Mike Napoli's glove at first base. That loaded the bases.

Lewis retired Michael Cuddyer on a popup, but Colvin then dropped his single into left to score two runs. The other runners moved up to second and third when Hamilton's throw got past catcher Yorvit Torrealba. That put two in scoring position for Chris Nelson, who smacked a single to center to make it 5-0. The Rockies added three more off Lewis in the fourth.

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