GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Colby Lewis was scheduled to pitch three innings Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. After he quickly retired all nine batters, the Texas Rangers asked the right-hander whether he wanted to remain in the game or finish his work by throwing in the bullpen.
Lewis opted to remain on the mound. He threw a perfect fourth, too, in the Rangers' 3-2 loss to a White Sox split squad.
Lewis, set to start for Texas on opening day, commanded his fastball, mixed speeds to keep hitters off-balance and threw just 36 pitches. He struck out five.
``They asked me if I wanted to go in the bullpen or out in the game. I'd rather I'd be out in the game,' he said. ``You have a little more adrenaline going when you're in the game. I threw another inning and it worked out good.'
Lewis struck out Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski in the second inning. Lewis is trying to throw his changeup more often this spring to complement his fastball, curveball and slider. He went 14-10 with a 4.40 ERA for the AL West champions last season.
``I was able to locate the fastball in and out, was able to flip the breaking ball in for strikes when I needed to,' Lewis said. ``The slider was good, and the changeup has come along really well. I'm really happy with that.'
Konerko became Chicago's first runner with a leadoff single off Scott Feldman
in the fifth. Feldman, a long reliever who had a 3.29 ERA in nine postseason appearances last season, threw three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and allowed two hits.
Dylan Axelrod, vying for a White Sox bullpen spot, allowed a run and three hits, struck out one and walked two in two innings. Axelrod was trying to bounce back after allowing four runs in two innings Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
``I'm making progress slowly,' Axelrod said. ``I felt like that second inning I was pushing the ball a little bit. I just need to get back with mechanics in staying tall and keeping the ball down in the strike zone.'
The Rangers loaded the bases against Axelrod in the second but scored just one run.
The White Sox scored their three runs in the bottom of the ninth off Miguel De Los Santos. Minor leaguer Ken Williams Jr., son of White Sox general manager Ken Williams, hit the winning single with two outs.
NOTES: Rangers RF Craig Gentry left in the fifth because of tightness in his left hamstring. He said it was a precautionary move, and he should be ready to play Sunday. Gentry was surprised he was removed. ``I thought I got traded there for a second,' he said. ... Texas' Mike Napoli was scratched because of mild soreness in his left groin. ... Konerko fouled a pitch off his knee in the seventh inning. Ventura said Konerko should be OK.
The Associated Press News Service
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