Hamels happy to pick up where Lewis left off

Texas has allowed one run in last 23 innings

June 18th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels lost his no-hit bid in the fourth inning Friday night when he gave up a single to Matt Carpenter. But Hamels was still almost as good as Colby Lewis was on Thursday in Oakland, as the left-hander pitched the Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Hamels didn't get the complete game, but he did throw 7 2/3 scoreless innings one day after Lewis just missed throwing a no-hitter in a 5-1 victory over the Athletics.

"I can't let Colby walk away and make it easy," Hamels said. "I've got to challenge him. No, we feed off each other and push each other to help the team as best we can. It's a lot of fun."

Reliever Matt Bush, with a runner on first base and two outs, got the final out in the eighth inning, and then Sam Dyson retired the side in order in the ninth. Rangers pitchers have now allowed just one run in their last 23 innings, and Dyson is 10-for-10 in save opportunities since being named the closer on May 18.

"You just show up and get the outs you're supposed to get," Dyson said.

Hamels did that for 7 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. This was his longest scoreless outing since his no-hitter against the Cubs on July 25, 2015, in his last start for the Phillies.

"Just the pace and the execution ... I was able to execute pitches with authority," Hamels said. "When you have the good velocity, you can get away with mistakes, but I was down in the zone and on the outside part of the zone. I wasn't in the middle of the plate, and when you do that, you're not going to give up the big hits."

Hamels is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts in June. This was the longest of those four starts, but also with the fewest pitches. Hamels threw more than 100 pitches in the other three, but finished with 94 in this one.

"We went into the night wanting to keep Cole under 100 pitches, because his last [three] outings were over 100 pitches," manager Jeff Banister said.

Hamels is also 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts on the road.

"He is just a pretty good pitcher," Banister said. "Cole is confident in any ballpark. He is a front-of-the-rotation guy, and he's getting better every time out."

Rougned Odor's home run off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha gave the Rangers their only run, and this was their first 1-0 victory since Sept. 7, 2014, against the Mariners. This is the 13th time in club history the Rangers have won a 1-0 game on a home run. That last time was Ian Kinsler on Aug. 28, 2012, in Arlington against the Rays, and the last time on the road was July 20, 2008, against the Twins in the Metrodome on a Taylor Teagarden home run.

"All-around tremendous game," Banister said. "A 1-0 National League game. The history of these two teams in this ballpark, to come in and hold on to a 1-0 lead is a great win for our ballclub."