Colby Lewis struggles in the strike zone

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis didn't have much trouble finding the strike zone on Tuesday. What he didn't do was find the location in the strike zone he wanted.

Despite getting ahead of hitters, Lewis wasn't able to finish them off when pitches that were meant to either barely touch the zone or stay out of it completely caught too much of the plate.

"He threw a lot of strikes, but they didn't miss," manager Ron Washington said. "He found the strike zone, they just didn't miss. They put seven runs on the board in the first four innings and we couldn't catch up."

The even-keeled Lewis said it was just one of those nights when he made a few mistakes with runners in scoring position, but also ran into a team that was swinging the bats well. That included Adrian Gonzalez, who came into the game with one homer in his last 146 at-bats since the All-Star break. He hit two off Lewis, pushing Lewis' AL-leading total to 30 homers allowed.

"I didn't make a very good pitch to him earlier. I was trying to get the slider down and in and left it up," Lewis said. "And the 1-1 pitch the second time, that was just a good piece of hitting. I was kind of settled in. I didn't worry about giving up that run. They came out and did a good job as far as swinging the bats. I didn't feel like I beat myself. I didn't walk a lot of guys. I tried to pound the strike zone like I normally do and they put more balls in play."

Lewis gave up seven runs on nine hits in six innings. Washington never thought of making a move after Lewis struggled early. He couldn't. Scott Feldman needed a break and Washington was trying to save the bullpen. Give Lewis credit for grinding through it.

"It would have destroyed the bullpen," Washington said, if Lewis had to come out early. "Sometimes you just got to take the beating."

Lewis is now 4-5 with a 5.56 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this season in 13 starts. On the road, he's 7-4 with a 2.71 ERA. That's a vast difference from one year ago, when Lewis was better at home than on the road, sporting a 3.41 ERA in Arlington. And Lewis beat the Yankees twice in the ALCS and the Giants once in the World Series at home.

"I don't know," Lewis said, when asked if he had an explanation. "It is what it is. I don't know."

He'll get a chance to try to turn around those home numbers this weekend against the Angels. Lewis pitched seven shutout innings in Anaheim last week.