ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cincinnati already had a hit and walk in the first inning when Jay Bruce faced Colby Lewis in the Texas right-hander’s first start since flirting with a perfect game.
The slugger’s three-run homer put the Reds ahead to stay. Zack Cozart homered along with a two-run triple and the Reds beat the Rangers 8-2 on Tuesday night, snapping Texas’ season-best winning streak at seven games and ending the best start of Lewis’ career at six straight wins.
“When you can nick a guy like that early that has been having a lot of success, it’s big,” said Bruce, who had three hits and four RBIs. “Any time you give your pitcher a 3-0 lead, I think they feel a lot better than going out there and having to battle from behind or even tied.”
By taking the opener of a two-game interleague series, the Reds snapped the Rangers’ run of 10 straight series victories a night after Texas got credit for a series win by beating Baltimore in a makeup game between the AL’s top two teams.
Lewis (6-1) left after five innings with cramping in his right arm, but said he expects to make his next start. He allowed three of the first four hitters to reach capped by Bruce’s 16th home run in the 36-year-old right-hander’s first start since the near-gem that became a 5-1 win at Oakland.
Anthony DeSclafani (1-0) gave up five hits and two runs with a walk and six strikeouts in seven innings in his third start. The right-hander missed the first two months with a strained left oblique sustained in his final spring training appearance.
“I’m just trying to get myself back into rhythm personally,” said DeSclafani, who tied for the NL lead among rookies last year in starts and had the most innings. “I just want to get back to doing well.”
Cuban right-hander Raisel Iglesias, out since the last of five starts on April 25 because of a right shoulder impingement, pitched two scoreless innings to finish the Cincinnati win on the same day he was activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Lewis, making his first career start against the Reds, allowed five hits and six runs in his first loss since last Sept. 28. He said he felt the cramping in his right triceps in the first inning, but stayed in because of some quick innings as he retired 11 straight after Bruce’s homer.
Cozart’s triple was part of a three-run fifth, and Lewis told the Texas staff about his discomfort after the inning. He came out after 68 pitches.
“I felt like if I could continue to have quick innings it would have been fine,” Lewis said. “I’m more disappointed in myself for not being able to go back out there and eat up two or three more innings for the bullpen.”
Cozart’s 11th homer was a solo shot in the seventh, and Bruce drove in his fourth run on his third hit, a ground-ball double against the shift down the line in left. Brandon Phillips scored from first.
Jurickson Profar had a two-run homer to get the AL West-leading Rangers within 3-2 in the second. Texas’ series streak was the longest in the majors since Tampa Bay won 10 straight in 2013.
HIDDEN BALL TRICK?
Eugenio Suarez fielded a high-hopper from Adrian Beltre in the second inning, but the Cincinnati third baseman thought the ball skipped over his glove. He looked skyward with the ball visible to cameras in the webbing of his glove. By the time he realized he had the ball, it was too late to get Beltre, who was credited with a single.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto sat for the first time this season because of an illness. … RHP Michael Lorenzen (right elbow sprain) should be activated from the 60-day DL either Wednesday or Thursday. He’s been out since spring training.
Reds: RHP Dan Straily (4-3, 3.66) makes his 10th career appearance against the Rangers. The previous two were with Houston and the first seven with Oakland. He is 4-3 with a 4.47 ERA against Texas.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.88) is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in June, including 7 2-3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win at St. Louis in his last start. He is 9-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 14 career starts against the Reds, all with Philadelphia.