"Yeah we saw that," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "A big zero on the scoreboard. For some reason, I thought he would get it. He's usually pretty electric, but he was in command from the beginning. When he's like that, it's fun to watch."
Hamels did not get the no-hitter, as Corey Dickerson broke up the bid with a two-out single in the sixth. Dickerson did not start the game. He entered the game in the fifth, but the Rangers knew how to pitch to him.
Hamels knew that Dickerson was a fastball hitter. But he threw one anyway, and Dickerson smacked it up the middle for a single.
"We went over how we should attack him, but I went to his strength and he got me," Hamels said. "Sometimes it's fun to challenge a guy in his zone, but I didn't come out ahead. It shows just why it's a difficult feat to do that."
Hamels admitted he was "frustrated" by what happened.
"We knew what we needed to do, and I ran through the stop sign," Hamels said.
Hamels settled for another win, as he went 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts. He left after throwing 104 pitches and is now 13-4 with a 2.80 ERA after 25 starts.
"Look … we're aware of where he was at," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We knew he had not given up a hit to that point. But you really don't think about it until you get in the seventh inning or later. A lot of things have to happen. I'm just trying to find a way to manage his pitch count and get some runs on the board."
Hamels was trying to throw the first no-hitter for the Rangers since 1994 and the second of his career.
"I think it's just the execution of pitches," Hamels said. "I know what we are aiming for and what our plan of attack is. For me, it's just to go out there and put up zeros. And if its zeros in the hit department, that's pretty good, too."
Hamels took a shutout into the eighth, but he gave up a home run to Steven Souza Jr.
"He was spotting the fastball," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The curveball was really good. Cole Hamels has built a career on fastball-changeup and the changeup's still very good, but he had the curvevball working really well and got a lot of swings and misses at the bottom of the zone."
Hamels still has a chance to make a little history this season. He is 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 14 starts on the road this season. The Rangers' record for lowest ERA on the road in one season is 1.95 by Bert Blyleven in 1977.
"I have always been good on the road," Hamels said. "You know you are in someone else's [ballpark], so it gets me amped up a little bit. You have to be on-guard and focused. You bear down more when you are on somebody else's turf."