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Hamels solid, but Rangers squander 3-run lead

Lefty ace hard on himself despite recording quality start
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers led by three runs after five innings Saturday and two runs after six. That's when starter Cole Hamels left after 103 pitches, in line for his first win in a month.

It didn't happen, and the frustration grows for the Rangers' No. 1 starter. The Red Sox rallied for three runs against Texas' bullpen in the final three innings and pulled off a 6-5 victory at Globe Life Park. The Rangers are now 1-7 in Hamels starts, with the only win coming on April 3 against Oakland.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers led by three runs after five innings Saturday and two runs after six. That's when starter Cole Hamels left after 103 pitches, in line for his first win in a month.

It didn't happen, and the frustration grows for the Rangers' No. 1 starter. The Red Sox rallied for three runs against Texas' bullpen in the final three innings and pulled off a 6-5 victory at Globe Life Park. The Rangers are now 1-7 in Hamels starts, with the only win coming on April 3 against Oakland.

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"I know you can look at any game, but I look back at the beginning of the season, it's not going the way I intended," Hamels said. "It's not going the way I need it to be. The results are not anywhere close to what I expected or what anybody expected. It's not a good situation. It's not the reason I'm here. I pitch to win and put up zeros. I don't take this lightly. There are a lot of things I need to improve on."

The Rangers did score five runs for Hamels after scoring six runs total in his previous five outings. Joey Gallo hit two home runs, and Delino DeShields had a three-run shot. But the Rangers ended up losing for the third time this season when leading after six innings, and all three were at home.

Video: BOS@TEX: DeShields rips a 3-run homer off top of wall

"That just stinks," DeShields said. "That's a tough team over there. We stayed in it, had the lead and couldn't hold it. We had opportunities late in the game and didn't get it done. Crazy game."

The Rangers led 1-0 into the fourth when Hamels walked Christian Vazquez, the Red Sox's No. 9 hitter, with one out. Vazquez ended up scoring after an error by Renato Nunez on Mookie Betts' grounder and an infield single by Andrew Benintendi. Betts' grounder could have been an inning-ending double play, but Hamels still chastised himself for walking the No. 9 hitter.

"That's an embarrassment right there," Hamels said. "That's a lot of what has been happening. Nothing against those guys, but those are the guys who should be outs. That's not holding up your end of the bargain."

DeShields gave the Rangers a 4-1 lead with his home run in the bottom of the fifth. But Hamels gave up a two-run home run to Mitch Moreland in the sixth to make it a one-run game.

"What happened in the sixth inning definitely killed the momentum we had," Hamels said. "When you are able to get a huge home run by Delino and take a lead, you understand you have to put up a quick zero and hand it over to the bullpen. The sixth inning is what turned the tide. It got them back in and took away the momentum we had established."

Gallo's second home run in the bottom of the sixth gave the Rangers a 5-3 lead. But the Red Sox came back in the seventh by taking advantage of shortstop Jurickson Profar's mental error.

Video: BOS@TEX: Gallo mashes his second solo homer

After Jose Leclerc walked Betts with one out, Benintendi flared a ball down the left-field line that dropped between Profar and outfielder Ryan Rua. Profar grabbed the ball but had no chance to get Betts at third or Benintendi going into second, so he started jogging with the ball toward the infield. Betts broke home, scoring well ahead of Profar's throw.

Video: BOS@TEX: Benintendi doubles home Betts in the 7th

"I just heard, '[Second base],' and I was trying to throw it there, but I had no play," Profar said. "I took a couple of steps, he took off, and my throw was late. In that play, I have to be better. I should have thrown it right in when I didn't have a play at second."

Benintendi then scored the tying run on a single by J.D. Martinez. Two innings later, he scored the go-ahead run on Hanley Ramirez's sacrifice fly after hitting a triple with one out.

Video: BOS@TEX: Banister on key mistakes that led to loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gallo hit two home runs, but Red Sox manager Alex Cora decided he'd rather have him at the plate than Nomar Mazara in the eighth. The Rangers had runners on second and third with one out when Cora intentionally walked Mazara to load the bases so that reliever Joe Kelly could face Gallo. Kelly struck out both Gallo and Profar to end the inning.

Video: BOS@TEX: Kelly gets Gallo swinging with bases loaded

"We do feel both are dangerous, but there's a different approach with Mazzara," Cora said. "With [runners on] second and third, he'd put the ball in play, they'd score with the infield in. We took a shot. We felt it was a good matchup for Joe, and we went with it."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gallo's second-inning home run had an exit velocity of 116.8 miles per hour. That's the hardest-hit home run by a Rangers player since Statcast™ began measuring them in 2015. The projected distance of 466 feet is tied for the third-longest in franchise history.

Video: BOS@TEX: Gallo rips a 116.8-mph home run 466 feet

HE SAID IT
"We had our chances. I had my chance. I should have brought the run home. I just didn't do a good job." -- Profar, on his eighth-inning at-bat

UP NEXT
Right-hander Doug Fister starts against the Red Sox at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Globe Life Park. Fister was 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 15 starts and three relief appearances for Boston last year. Catcher Carlos Perez, who was claimed on waivers from the Braves on Wednesday, is expected to get his first start for the Rangers. Lefty ace Chris Sale pitches for the Red Sox.

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.

Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels