CHICAGO -- This is how you beat the bullpen blues: Have your starting pitcher shut down the opposition until your offense can do some late-inning damage to the other guys' bullpen.Cole Hamels did just that, with a forceful reminder that momentum in baseball is only as good as the next
CHICAGO -- This is how you beat the bullpen blues: Have your starting pitcher shut down the opposition until your offense can do some late-inning damage to the other guys' bullpen.
Cole Hamels did just that, with a forceful reminder that momentum in baseball is only as good as the next day's starter. Hamels stumbled briefly at the beginning but then found his rhythm and everything else in pitching the Rangers to a 10-4 victory over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon.
"That's what we needed," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We needed somebody to go out and put a foot down."
Hamels' effort helped the Rangers snap a three-game losing streak. The Rangers lost on Friday night when the White Sox scored three in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 victory. Hamels said he was already back in bed in his hotel room when the White Sox rallied and wasn't concerned about getting the Rangers back on track.
"You just have to move on," Hamels said. "I had a game to worry about today. Yesterday is in the past. Everybody in this clubhouse understands that losses are something you don't like to accept, but the moment you leave the field, the next day kind of comes. We have another goal in mind and that's to win that day."
Hamels bounced back from his previous start, his first since missing almost two months with a strained right oblique muscle. The lefty allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Indians on Monday and the Rangers ended up with a 15-9 loss.
This was totally different.
"I was trying to get back to what I know and be comfortable," Hamels said. "Establish throwing strikes early. That was something that I had been fighting the last start. So, I was trying to stay aggressive and throw strikes. You do that, you get the foul balls and the missed swings and kind of go from there."
Hamels began the game by getting Tim Anderson to ground out. Melky Cabrera followed with a double and Jose Abreu hit a two-run home run, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead. Hamels then hit Todd Frazier with a pitch.
And that was it. Hamels did not allow another baserunner the rest of the afternoon. He responded to the hit batter by striking out Matt Davidson and that was the first of 19 straight hitters retired.
"I know we were able to score some runs but he did a real nice job," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He attacked the strike zone and mixed his pitches. He was pounding us in a little bit and moving it up. Just worked both sides of the plate very effectively."
Hamels was pulled with two outs in the seventh, having throwing 96 pitches. Alex Claudio went the rest of the way to nail it down.
"That was the plan and we wanted to stick with it," Banister said. "It was a situation where 95 was the top end of where we wanted to go."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.