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Hamels, Beltre meet kids as part of charity event

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Best barbecue spots, nicknames in the clubhouse or stories from their time in the game … if the kids thought of the question, Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre answered it.

The non-profit "Tia's Hope" and Cook Medical Center teamed with Hamels and Beltre to create "Memory Moments" as part of Players Trust's "Buses for Baseball" program, which provides transportation, tickets and unforgettable Major League Baseball experiences to children across the country.

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ARLINGTON -- Best barbecue spots, nicknames in the clubhouse or stories from their time in the game … if the kids thought of the question, Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre answered it.

The non-profit "Tia's Hope" and Cook Medical Center teamed with Hamels and Beltre to create "Memory Moments" as part of Players Trust's "Buses for Baseball" program, which provides transportation, tickets and unforgettable Major League Baseball experiences to children across the country.

View Full Game Coverage

The Rangers teamed with them Friday, as Hamels and Beltre answered questions, signed autographs and recounted stories for the 50 children and chaperones in attendance.

The group was also able to attend Friday's game between the Rangers and White Sox.

"I think it's a real honor to be in front of these kids and adults," Hamels said. "It's something that MLB has really done a great job with to get us more involved in the community."

The two players also posed for a group picture. It's part of an experience that lets the players connect with the people who so passionately root them on, even for just a few moments, as well as take a break from the routine that being a professional baseball player can entail.

"Not only are we baseball players, we're family people and community members," Hamels said. "You want to be able to integrate as much as we possibly can into our community and get that support.

"They're supporting us day in and day out, and we don't always get to see them at the ballpark, but we know they're watching on TV, rooting us on. It's nice to be able to come in front of them and talk a bit, answer some of the kids' questions. It's a tremendous experience, I think, for everybody."

Diekman to make second rehab outing

Reliever Jake Diekman threw a perfect inning in his first rehab outing with Double-A Frisco on Thursday, firing 13 pitches -- eight for strikes -- and recording a pair of strikeouts.

Video: DET@TEX: Diekman throws live batting practice

He said Friday his next assignment will again be with Frisco on Sunday; he's expected to throw 20-25 pitches.

"I think 25 [pitches], probably," he said. "I need to go up and down. I need to finish an inning and maybe start an inning to get like one or two outs."

Diekman said he wanted to establish his fastball during his first outing before trying to work in off-speed pitches. The plan will largely remain the same in this next outing.

"If I put myself in a position where I can throw an off-speed pitch, I'll [take it]. I'm not going to throw a [first-pitch] slider or anything," Diekman said. "I'd rather pound the zone and get arm strength, teach myself how to backspin a baseball. If I'm 0-2, 1-2, I'll probably throw a slider again."

Rangers beat

Carlos Gomez remained out of the lineup Friday while recovering from a cyst behind his right shoulder. Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Gomez improved greatly between Thursday and Friday, but they can't put a timetable on his return.

Nomar Mazara is batting .484 with a 1.207 OPS over his last eight games, with two homers and 14 RBIs. He ranks among American League leaders during that stretch in RBIs (1st) and hits (2nd).

• Texas' catching tandem of Robinson Chirinos and Brett Nicholas have combined to bat .390 with three doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs over the last 13 games. This comes after a seven-game stretch in which Rangers catchers went 0-for-21.

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

Texas Rangers