ARLINGTON, Texas -- The ovation from the 44,811 at Globe Life Field framed Colby Lewis’ night perfectly.
Many in the crowd were standing before Rangers manager Ron Washington reached the mound to take the ball from Lewis after a solid second start in what could develop into quite a comeback story.
"I’d take 30 more [starts] just like that when you get that kind of love and support from the fans," the 34-year-old said. "The reaction was awesome."
The Rangers defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-3 Saturday, and Lewis was rewarded with the win. Asked if he could remember his previous victory, Lewis thought for a moment and said no.
It is the kind of story that appeals to a Rangers fan -- successful starter instrumental in playoff success comes back from elbow and hip surgeries that sidelined him for half of 2012 and all of the 2013 major league season.
"That ovation was pretty nice," Washington said. "Colby deserved it. He showed improvement tonight, and that’s what we were looking for. He did a great job."
In 5⅓ innings, Lewis held the White Sox to six hits and one run, having thrown 85 pitches. In his first return start against the Seattle Mariners on Monday, he allowed eight hits and four runs in 5⅓ innings.
"I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t go a little deeper," Lewis said. "I felt more relaxed. I got the jitters out of the way on Monday. I’m definitely excited."
Lewis rated 60 of his 88 pitches in his first outing as high quality. This time, he felt like he was throwing downhill on all 85.
The second inning for Lewis was telling. He escaped, allowing only one run after Chicago loaded the bases with no outs.
"It was damage control at that point," Lewis said. "I threw a slider off the plate [to Alexei Ramirez] and he chased it."
Before the game, Washington talked about Lewis’ influence on younger players.
"Younger guys know they can bounce it off Colby," the manager said. "He gives them a yellow brick road they can follow."