MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Colby Lewis' up-and-down season reached a new low.
Scott Baker pitched a five-hitter for his fourth complete game and Alexi Casilla had three hits and scored two runs, leading the Minnesota Twins to an 8-1 win over the Rangers.
The Rangers have lost eight of nine games in Minnesota since the outdoor ballpark opened last season.
The Twins scored five runs in the first against Lewis (5-7), who allowed six runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings, his shortest start since going 1 1-3 innings in a 9-0 loss at Kansas City on Aug. 27, 2003.
``I know what type of pitcher I am,' Lewis said. ``I've proven myself countless times that I can go out there and belong and dominate and do well. It's just a matter of a little speed bump and I'll get over it and make the changes.'
In Lewis' five victories this season he's posted a 1.41 ERA over 38 1-3 innings. However, in his seven losses he has an 8.66 ERA in 34 innings pitched.
In his last outing, Lewis gave up nine runs in just 3 1-3 innings in a loss to Detroit. But his previous start was an eight-inning, four-hit outing against the Rays in Tampa. It's part of a pattern that Lewis is confident he can get past and establish himself as a consistent member of the Texas rotation.
Seven of the first nine hitters reached on Saturday for a Twins lineup that was missing most of its regular starters. Rookie Brian Dinkleman had a two-run single, Matt Tolbert added an RBI single and another run scored on Lewis' wild pitch.
The Twins knocked him out in the second inning after Casilla doubled and scored on Delmon Young's single.
``He made mistakes and they jumped on them, and before you knew it it was 5-0,' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``I don't think he's tipping his pitches. If you go look back at it, everything was up in the zone and out over the dish. I could stand up there at 59 years old throw it up in the zone out over the dish and see what happens to it.'
Meanwhile, the Rangers weren't doing much with Baker, who was perfect through four innings and had a one-hit shutout through the seventh.
``A five-run lead makes it a lot easier,' said Baker, who struck out seven in his first complete game since Aug. 14, 2009. ``I threw a lot of fastballs, a lot of fastballs down and away. And I think you saw they did hit some balls hard. They just happened to hit it at guys. That's what you can do when you have a decent lead like that, just attack guys and allow them to put the ball in play.'
Adrian Beltre connected for a leadoff double off of the right field wall in the fifth. Josh Hamilton, who had three homers and 10 RBIs in his previous eight games, struck out three times against Baker.
Beltre's double was the lone hit against Baker until the eighth when Mike Napoli singled with two outs. David Murphy then had a run-scoring hit.
``He was hitting his spots, he was down in the zone, he stayed off the fat part of our bats, he was throwing his little cutter and executing his breaking ball,' Washington said of Baker. ``The guy almost threw a nine-inning shutout.'
Lewis hopes to give his manager reason to say the same about him again soon - just as soon as he can get his roller-coaster ride of a season smoothed out.
``I guess everybody goes through it. You just try to rebound as fast as you can from it. That's all you can do - prepare yourself the same way you've been doing things,' Lewis said. ``It's not like I feel like I have to go out and change anything dramatically. There were a couple balls left up in the zone, but like I said they just took advantage of a couple runners on and came out swinging. They hit them where we weren't.'
NOTES: Texas reliever Dave Bush left the game with a bruised hamstring and is day to day. Bush was hit in the leg by a comebacker by Twins center fielder Ben Revere in the sixth, but pitched another inning before leaving. ... The Rangers are in the middle of playing 17 of 20 games on the road. They had won five of their last six games on the road entering Minnesota, but have dropped two of three in the four-game series. ... 2B Ian Kinsler returned from a three-day paternity leave break. He batted leadoff and went 1 for 4.
The Associated Press News Service
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