ATLANTA — Colby Lewis and Nelson Cruz shook off slumps, Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Friday night to protect their lead in the AL West.
Cruz, who had been 0 for 18 with 10 strikeouts in his last five games, drove in three runs with two doubles. Hamilton had four hits and drove in three runs, including a run-scoring single in the ninth.
Lewis (6-7) recovered after two ugly losses in which he gave up a combined 15 runs on 17 hits in only 42⁄3 innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits in 62⁄3 innings while matching his career high with 10 strikeouts.
Lewis gave up homers to Brian McCann in the fourth and Freddie Freeman in the sixth.
Texas began the night with a half-game lead over Seattle in the AL West. The Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak with their first win in four tries at Turner Field.
Right-hander Randall Delgado (0-1), recalled from Double-A Mississippi, gave up seven hits and four runs, three earned. He was knocked out without recording an out in the Rangers’ four-run fifth, when Hamilton hit his fifth homer.
Delgado, 21, made his major league debut after the Braves placed right-hander Tommy Hanson on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Cruz snapped his hitless streak with his second-inning double to right field to drive in Michael Young, who also reached on a double. Cruz had a two-run double off Cristhian Martinez in the fifth.
The Rangers delivered two strong plays on defense.
With two outs in the fifth, Lewis ran toward the first-base line to pick up a weak grounder by Jason Heyward. After making the scoop, Lewis made a backhanded flip of the ball from his glove to first baseman Young to throw out Heyward, who slammed down his helmet in disgust.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre made a bid to challenge Lewis for the top defensive play of the game when, sprinting toward left field with his back to the infield, he made an over-the-shoulder catch of a foul pop-up hit by Eric Hinske.
The Braves were without third baseman Chipper Jones, who left Thursday night’s game against the Mets with a strained adductor muscle in his right leg.