Lewis allowed one run over 5 1-3 innings for his first win in nearly two years, after elbow surgery and a unique hip procedure, and the Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
“It’s pretty sentimental,” Lewis said. “It’s one of those victories that I’m just excited about.”
The 34-year-old right-hander won for the first time since June 17, 2012, a month before his last game prior to surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. He was still rehabbing from that last August when he had right hip resurfacing surgery, and is the first known major league pitcher to return from that operation to remove bone spurs without a full hip replacement.
“It was awesome,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “We’re really glad for him.”
Joakim Soria, the fifth Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances. He then gave the game ball to Lewis (1-1).
Before his season debut Monday night, a home loss to Seattle when he also went 5 1-3 innings, Lewis hadn’t made a major league start since July 18, 2012.
“I’m still kind of disappointed that i didn’t go deeper in the ball game,” Lewis said. “But I felt like the 85 (pitches) were a lot better than the 88 that I threw the other day. I felt like I was more relaxed. I was more myself.”
“He came out and kept the ball down for the most part and used his pitches well, kept his stamina going for the time that he was out there,” Washington said.
Texas went ahead to stay on Prince Fielder’s high-arching blast to right leading off the fourth for a 2-1 lead. It was only his second homer in his 18 games with Texas.
Jose Quintana (1-1) allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings, and the White Sox lost their fourth straight.
“He was pretty good. It wasn’t his best stuff, but they are going to get hits, just because of the way the ballpark plays,” manager Robin Ventura said. “But once they start falling in, those are the ones that hurt you.”
Dayan Viciedo’s two-run single in the eighth got the White Sox within 5-3 before Alexei Ramirez, who entered the game with a AL-leading .379 batting average, grounded into an inning-ending double play.