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Texas Rangers' Hamels throws four-hitter, defeats Minnesota Twins

By Brian Hall, The Sports Xchange
Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers whiffed the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Photo by Mike Stone/UPI
Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers whiffed the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Photo by Mike Stone/UPI | License Photo

MINNEAPOLIS -- Cole Hamels allowed four hits in his first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, and Nomar Mazara homered for the Texas Rangers in a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

A night after 44-year-old Bartolo Colon threw an improbable complete game for Minnesota, Hamels finished off his 16th career complete game by retiring 13 of the last 14 batters he faced and tallying 96 pitches.

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Hamels (6-1) yielded one unearned run. He struck out five batters and walked one in shutting down the Twins' offense. Entering the game, he owned a 6.35 ERA in six starts against Minnesota, the worst of any opponent he's faced more than six times.

Kyle Gibson (6-9) gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks in his 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander was making his return to the Twins' rotation after Minnesota traded Jamie Garcia to the New York Yankees before last Monday's trade deadline.

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For the third straight game in the series, Texas opened the scoring in the first inning. Elvis Andrus singled and Mazara followed with a homer to the bullpens in left-center field for his 14th of the season.

The Rangers led 3-0 after Robinson Chirinos' sacrifice fly in the second plated Mike Napoli.

Hamels, meanwhile, was in cruise control. Brian Dozier led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Hamels retired the next eight batters he faced. He needed only five pitches in the second inning and 37 through the first four frames.

Byron Buxton stole a run for Minnesota in the fifth after singling with one out. Buxton stole second and took third on a throwing error by the catcher Chirinos. He scored on a groundout to first base.

NOTES: Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano was held out of the lineup a day after sustaining a left-hand contusion after being hit in the hand by a pitch. Sano told reporters the hand was more sore Saturday morning but a precautionary X-ray was negative for any broken bones. The injury is in a similar spot, but worse, than where Sano was hit by a pitch July 24, which caused him to miss two games. ... With Sano out and 1B Joe Mauer getting a planned rest day, IF Ehire Adrianza made his first start of the year at first base. ... Texas manager Jeff Banister told MLB.com that LHP Martin Perez's next start would be pushed back after he allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Twins on Friday. RHPs Andrew Cashner and A.J. Griffin will start in the team's two-game series at the New York Mets. With two days off during the week, MLB.com reported LHP Cole Hamels will start Friday. ... Rangers LHP Jake Diekman threw a live bullpen session before Saturday's game. Diekman has missed the season after surgery for ulcerative colitis. ... Minnesota LHP Hector Santiago will make another rehab start with Triple-A Rochester before being activated. Santiago has been July 3 with upper thoracic back pain.

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