Surprise, Ariz. Texas Rangers postseason ace Colby Lewis is already getting better in spring training.
Lewis threw two shutout innings in his Cactus League debut Monday, a 12-11 victory over the Kansas City Royals that became a slugfest after he was gone. Three days earlier, the right-hander gave up five runs in an inning against the Rangers’ primary starters in an intrasquad game.
“I’m about like where I should feel. My arm feels really good, it feels like it’s bouncing back really well,” Lewis said. “There’s still some small things that I’m rushing a little bit, but that all comes with time and being out there.”
When the Rangers went to their first World Series last year, Lewis was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four postseason starts in his first season back from Japan to the team that drafted him in 1999.
Lewis struggled a bit with his command Monday, throwing only 17 of 33 pitches for strikes. Still, he walked just one batter and struck out one.
“He’s getting his work in and getting through it conveniently,” manager Ron Washington said.
Mike Napoli and Ian Kinsler homered for Texas. Napoli, traded from the Los Angeles Angels to Toronto and then to Texas in a five-day span last month, hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Kinsler, who is back in the leadoff spot for the Rangers, added a three-run shot later in the inning.
The Rangers took the lead for good in the seventh when Engle Beltre’s RBI groundout snapped a 10-all tie. Beltre also had a long running catch in center field.
Kansas City got homers from its top two prospects in camp, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.
“It’s great to see Moose and Hos break out with a homer and give our fans a little bit what they’ve been hearing about,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
In 118 minor-league games last season for two teams, Moustakas hit .322 with 36 homers and 118 RBIs.
Royals starter Vin Mazzaro also pitched two scoreless innings.