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Angels can't overcome Rangers' early surge
By T.R. Sullivan and Sam Butler
ARLINGTON -- Starter Cole Hamels, staked with an eight-run lead after two innings, pitched 7 2/3 scoreless frames and the Rangers hit three home runs en route to a 10-0 victory over the Angels on Friday night.
This was Hamels' second straight win, as he held the White Sox to two runs in 6 2/3 innings in his previous start, retiring the last 19 batters he faced. Hamels was making his third start since coming off the disabled list after missing two months with a strained right oblique muscle. He allowed three hits, one walk and struck out six before he exited at the 95-pitch mark.
"I'm getting there ... just being able to go deep in the game," Hamels said. "I'm getting a feel for what I can do to get guys out. I feel good and there is that trust that I am going to feel good between starts. I just have to get in a comfortable rhythm and I'm getting there."
Angels starter Ricky Nolasco entered the game with a 13-inning scoreless streak, but that ended quickly when he allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings. It's only the fifth time in 297 career starts that Nolasco has not completed two innings. It's the most runs he has allowed in a start since giving up eight against the Orioles on Aug. 31, 2014.
"It's easy [to forget]," Nolasco said. "It's one of those games where it's so ugly that it's easy to forget about it. I just feel bad for putting our team in such a big hole so early. They're definitely not going to climb out of that kind of hole against somebody like Cole Hamels."
Adrian Beltre, Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara all went deep for the Rangers, who are 29-13 when they hit multiple home runs. They have out-homered their opponents 45-19 in their past 20 games.
Nolasco gave up two of the three home runs. He has allowed 25 this season, the most in the American League.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rangers deliver two-out hits: After entering the game hitting .237 with runners in scoring position and two outs, eighth best in the league, the Rangers came through early against Nolasco in those situations on Friday. Odor had an RBI single and Jonathan Lucroy had a two-run double in the first. With two out in the second, Mazara had an RBI single and Beltre followed with a three-run home run.
"Looked like two quick outs in the first inning, then those guys backed up hit after hit," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "In the second, just getting behind guys and then when we did get ahead, just putting guys away. His stuff wasn't as crisp today, and those guys had a good offensive day."
Odor launches one: Odor followed Beltre's home run with a shot of his own in the second inning. It marked the first time the Rangers have hit back-to-back home runs this season. Odor's home run was projected to travel 432 feet, his longest of the season, according to Statcast™. The exit velocity of 110.5 mph was his second highest on a home run.
"I feel really good at the plate," Odor said. "Even when I make an out, I feel good at the plate."
"Unbelievable. That 'stache was working today. He was throwing strikes, in and out, keeping pretty good hitters off balance. It's the Cole we came to know the last couple of years here. It seems like he's getting his stuff back."-- Beltre on Hamels, who shaved his beard but kept the moustache for this start
"All games are important. It'd be nice to win a series going into the break, so we got a chance to do that starting tomorrow."-- Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun, on bouncing back
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Beltre hit two more milestones with his first-inning single and three-run home run in the second. The two hits allowed him to go over 5,000 total bases in his career. He has 5,003, the 21st most in Major League history. The three RBIs give him 1,596 for his career.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: Right-hander Jesse Chavez (5-9, 4.97 ERA) will start the middle game of the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. PT. He's faced the Rangers twice this season, both times in April, and he took losses in each start. Chavez hasn't allowed a homer in either of his past two starts after giving up at least one in a club-record 13 straight appearances.
Rangers: Right-hander Tyson Ross will face the Angels on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. CT in his fifth start since coming off the disabled list. Ross allowed four runs in five innings in his last start on Sunday against the White Sox. He is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in five starts and four relief appearances in his career against the Angels.