Hamels fans 12 as Rangers rout Mariners
ARLINGTON -- Cole Hamels won his fourth straight decision as the Rangers blew out the Mariners, 10-1, on Saturday night at Globe Life Park to maintain their 2 1/2-game lead in the American League West race.
Hamels struck out 12 while allowing just one run on seven hits over seven innings and is 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA in nine starts since being acquired from the Phillies. Texas improved to 7-2 on this homestand and 80-68 overall, while second-place Houston came back to beat Oakland, 10-6, and is 78-71 after snapping a five-game losing streak.
"The secondary stuff was really sharp tonight," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Hamels. "That's probably as good as we've seen him."
The Rangers had scored just one run in 27 innings in losing their previous three games to the Mariners, but pounded out 14 hits with eight walks against eight Seattle pitchers. Shin-Soo Choo reached base five times with two singles, two walks and a hit by pitch, Adrian Beltre had three hits and three RBIs and Delino DeShields ripped his 10th triple, tied for the second-highest single-season total in Rangers history.
Mariners lefty Vidal Nuno, who held the Rangers to one hit in seven scoreless innings his last start, had no such luck in this one as he surrendered five runs (four earned) on five hits with four walks, a hit batter and wild pitch in 3 1/3 innings.
"It is what it is. It's a loss. They're never fun," said Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon, whose team saw its six-game road win streak snapped and lost for just the sixth time in its past 17 games. "We got through it as best we could. Nuno just wasn't very sharp today. He pitched behind in the count quite a bit. It was just one of those days."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Run-manufacturing machines: The Rangers scored two runs in the second inning thanks to a walk, an error on a bunt single and a sacrifice fly, all against Nuno. After Elvis Andrus led off with a walk, Rougned Odor dropped a well-placed bunt to Vidal's left and the pitcher's throw to first was offline, allowing Andrus to take third and Odor to take second. Chris Gimenez drove in Andrus with a grounder to first baseman Jesus Montero, whose throw to the plate was too late to catch Andrus, and DeShields drove Odor in with a sacrifice fly to center.
Another Guti bomb: Mariners left fielder Franklin Gutierrez continued putting together one of the best comeback stories in baseball, hitting his 14th home run to center leading off the second off Hamels. The blast, projected by Statcast™ to land 408 feet from home plate, was Gutierrez's 11th in his past 25 games and he's batted .317 in 142 at-bats after missing all last season with a nerve issue.
"He was throwing good," Gutierrez said. "He was mixing all his pitches and they were all working. He threw me a 3-2 changeup and I hit it good. But he was kind of tough tonight." More >
Top-notch top of the order: The Rangers' first three hitters, DeShields, Choo and Beltre, reached base a combined 10 out of their first 12 plate appearances over the first five innings as Texas rumbled to an 8-1 lead. Choo singled and scored Texas' first run in the first inning with help from Beltre, whose single moved Choo to third ahead of Mike Napoli's RBI single. The trio was a combined 7-for-10 with five RBIs and three runs scored in the game. More >
"They just found holes today. It's part of baseball. They put the ball in play a little bit and weren't chasing the changeup the way they were last time. They were taking pitches that made me work today." -- Nuno, on having less success against Texas in this one
"I don't know if I have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to explain Adrian Beltre. I just know that he is the toughest player I've ever been around. To go out and do what he does every single day … it seems like sometimes he's at his best when he has some issues like this. It seems to slow him down a little bit [but] he continues to fight through it and give us as much as he possibly can." -- Banister, on Beltre's performance despite dealing with a nagging finger injury
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Nelson Cruz singled in the third inning for Seattle in a 1-for-4 night. He has hit safely in all 15 games this season against his former Texas team, batting .407 (24-for-59) with 11 runs, three doubles, a triple, six homers and 12 RBIs.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (17-9, 3.55 ERA) closes out the season series against Texas in Sunday's 12:05 p.m. PT game at Globe Life Park. The Mariners' ace is 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts against the Rangers this year and he'll be the AL's first 18-game winner with a victory.
Rangers: At 2:05 p.m. CT at Globe Life Park, Rangers lefty Derek Holland (3-2, 3.77) will try to bounce back from his last two mediocre outings in which he allowed a total of 10 earned runs on 19 hits against the Mariners and Astros. Holland lost 5-0 against Hernandez on Sept. 10.
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