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TB@TEX: Lewis allows just three hits over six frames

Colby Lewis was not named the American League Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday -- that would've given the Rangers a sweep of the league's monthly awards -- but he still put together one of the best Aprils for a pitcher in Rangers franchise history.

Lewis' 1.93 ERA is the fourth lowest for a Texas pitcher who made at least five starts in the month, and opponents are 0-for-21 against him, with 10 strikeouts with runners in scoring position. He'll be the first Rangers pitcher to be in a position to be a stopper all season: Texas is on its first losing streak of the season, at all of two games.

Lewis' sixth start of the season comes in the opener of a three-game set against the Indians on Friday, in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Progressive Field. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is scheduled to start Friday for the Indians, who wrap a three-game series at home with the White Sox on Thursday. The Rangers are off Thursday.

Lewis wasn't thrilled with himself after letting up one run in six innings against Tampa Bay on Saturday, but he improved to 3-0.

"I felt like I didn't really have a whole lot," Lewis said. "I felt like I kind of battled at times. But overall, it worked out."

As good as their offense is, the Rangers' starting pitching has been top-notch. Entering Wednesday, when Texas fell 11-5 in the rubber match with Toronto, its starters had the second-best ERA in the AL at 3.27. The leaders were the Rays, at just one point lower.

Of course, the Rangers were bound to lose a series at some point.

"That's going to happen, you're not going to win every series," said Matt Harrison, Texas' starter Wednesday, who gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. "We know what we have to improve on. We have an off-day tomorrow. We'll move on. We'll get our heads right and go out and take it out on Cleveland."

Gomez was a hard-luck loser his last time out against the Angels, letting up two runs in six innings in a 2-1 loss to the Angels on Saturday.

Matching Angels starter Dan Haren for much of the game, Gomez walked only two and struck out a career-high seven.

"He gave us an outstanding outing," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He gave us an opportunity. Unfortunately, we couldn't execute or do anything against Dan. We had a few opportunities and didn't move the guy over to third or didn't get the big hit."

Friday is the start of a seven-game, six-day homestand for Cleveland. The Rangers will be in Game No. 4 of 10 on their road trip.

Rangers: Hamilton, Darvish win monthly awards
Josh Hamilton was named the AL Player of the Month for April on Wednesday, while right-handed starter Yu Darvish was named AL Rookie of the Month.

Hamilton's virtual sweep of the offensive leaderboards included an AL-best nine home runs, 25 RBIs, 64 total bases and a .744 slugging percentage. He was second with a .395 batting average, 20 runs and 34 hits (tied) in 22 April games.

Darvish became just the sixth rookie starter since 1957 to win at least four games without a loss in April. He was 4-0 in five starts in his first Major League action, tying for the league lead in wins.

Indians: Damon gets start at DH
New Indians addition Johnny Damon was penciled in as the designated hitter on Thursday for Travis Hafner, who sat out against the White Sox with a sore right knee. Damon finished the night going 1-for-5.

Hafner was hit on the side of the right knee by a pitch from Phil Humber in the third inning of the Indians' 6-3 win over Chicago on Wednesday night. A day later, Hafner said he was optimistic about his chances of returning to the lineup soon.

"It's a lot better now," Hafner said. "It hit right where there's no fat or anything. It's all bone -- so that wasn't a great spot. But, it felt better as I was icing it between at-bats and stuff. By the end [of the game], it was doing better."

Worth noting
• The Rangers are 5-0 in games Lewis has pitched against Cleveland.

• Indians infielder Jose Lopez cleared waivers and has been sent outright to Triple-A Columbus by the Indians. Lopez, who hit .190 (4-for-21) in five games for Cleveland this season, was designated for assignment on Tuesday to clear a spot on the roster for veteran outfielder Johnny Damon.

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