Colby Lewis does his thing

ARLINGTON, Texas -- You can say the star of Friday night's game is Rangers right hander Colby Lewis.

In his first start since the 2007 season when he pitched with Oakland, Lewis shut the Mariners down over seven innings, allowing one run on five hits. He walked four and struck out three. He threw 103 pitches, 61 for strikes.

"He kept pounding the strike zone and he used all his pitches and he threw inside, threw his breaking ball and he used his changeup," manager Ron Washington said. "For the most part, he pounded the strike zone and he kept the ball in play and we made some plays."

By the time Lewis left, his club was ahead 6-1.

But the biggest moment came in the seventh inning when the Mariners loaded the bases with one out.

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux arrived to speak with Lewis. The thought process was getting the No. 9 hitter Jack Wilson and the leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki out with limited damage.

Lewis struck out looking on a pitch at the knees and Ichiro bounced to secodn to end the threat. As Lewis walked to the dugout, he received a standing ovation.

"That was big," Michael Young said of the seventh.

"Just get ahead early and keep the ball down," Lewis said of the at bat to Ichiro. "I didn’t want to leave anything up where he can get underneath it and flip the bat. That's his style of laying the ball over the shortstop and third base. I kept the slider down and in and got him to roll over the ball to second."

In the first four games of the season, the Rangers starters have posted a 1.82 ERA and allowed just five earned runs in 24.2 innings.