Cole Hamels wasn't at his best tonight but he was good enough to hold the Angels to two runs over his six innings of work. Tonight was an improvement over the last couple of outings where Hamels saw his command totally abandon him. All told Hamels went six innings and allowed the two runs on four hits and four walks. Hamels struck out six Angels.
The four walks from Hamels tonight is the most troubling aspect of his evening as he's obviously still not completely back to his pre-Mariners dominance. Still, his outing was a step in the right direction.
Keone Kela, on the other hand, is bumming me out. He, along with Shawn Tolleson, appear to be the casualties of the crazy 2015 stretch run that found the Rangers claw all the way back to take the division title. Kela looked like the closer in waiting for Texas but his huge workload led to arm surgery earlier this year, and he just hasn't been the same this season.
Tonight, taking Hamels' 4-2 lead in the 7th, Kela allowed three runs and erased any shot Hamels had at picking up a win. Kela is young and he has the stuff to succeed so the hope here is he finds it again and preferably before we hit October because I miss the dude who stared down Josh Donaldson at the Skydome almost a year ago.
Luckily for Texas, Jonathan Lucroy exists and is a Ranger as his two-run home run a half inning later proved to be the eventual difference maker. Just another late comeback win for your Texas Rangers.
Player of the Game: Carlos Gomez made his leadoff debut with the Rangers in style as he hit a leadoff dinger and later added a two-run dong. Here's a fun tidbit brought to you by birthday boy Evan Grant:
Runs scored by Rangers tonight: 6. Runs driven in by Rangers acquired since July 31 tonight: 6.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) September 11, 2016
Those runs came via three RBIs apiece from former Brewers Gomez and Lucroy. The Rangers then added a couple of runs later just so you don't get the roster from the first half of the season.
Up Next: The Rangers finish up this series with the Angels looking for a sweep with Colby Lewis making his return to the rotation against Anaheim's RHP Jered Weaver in a battle of flamethrowers. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 pm CT.