Colby Lewis bookends homestand with wins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pitching on Father’s Day has special meaning for Colby Lewis.

“Being a father myself, it means a lot,’’ Lewis said. “You always want to do well, and I wouldn’t say its extra motivation, but on a day like this it makes it more special.’’

As he mowed through an Astros lineup in the Rangers’ 9-3 victory Sunday at Rangers Ballpark, Lewis said he couldn’t help but think about his father and father-in-law. Both have dealt with or are currently dealing with health issues involving their prostate.

“It has worked out well because we’re flying out to California [for a three-game series at San Diego] and that’s home for me so I’ll see my family,’’ Lewis said.

Lewis (6-5) held the Astros to three hits (all singles), one walk and one run as the Rangers completed a 5-1 homestand, which started with a Lewis complete-game win over Arizona on Monday.

Texas leads the Los Angeles Angels by four games in the AL West.

“We know what we’re going to get from Colby,’’ said Ian Kinsler, who supplied the big hit, a three-run triple in the sixth inning. “He’s the rock of our rotation.’’

Lewis, 32, struck out 10 for the tenth time in his career and the second time this season. For the fourth consecutive game the Rangers have struck out at least 10 in a game, a club record.

While very much impressed with Lewis, Rangers manager Ron Washington didn’t seem that thrilled with the team's strikeout streak. He said he’d prefer quick outs.

“When you’re striking out people it means you’re throwing a lot of pitches,’’ Washington said. “We don’t really have a staff of strikeout pitchers, but Colby is known to be a strikeout guy because he can throw any pitch at any time.’’

Lewis in seven innings limited his pitch count to 92 because he missed the strike zone only 22 times.

“Colby was outstanding today,’’ Washington said. “He kept us around until we finally put something together.’’

Two strikeouts in particular loomed important in the early innings when the Rangers hitters had their hands full with Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.

Back-to-back singles by Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic leading off the second inning gave the Astros runners at the corners. Lewis struck out Justin Maxwell and Jason Castro, then got out unscathed on Matt Downs' fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.

Lewis left after seven innings with the score 8-1. He said he would have liked to work another inning, but with an off-day Thursday, there is the possibility that he could start Friday at home against Colorado on regular rest.

Four of his six wins have come at home.

“We’re playing really well at home right now,’’ Lewis said.